Humane Society of the United States raises $2 million at New York Gala

For those who’ve raised, rescued or adopted an animal it goes without saying that the unconditional love an animal provides is incomparable to most.

It becomes the duty of those who choose to advocate on behalf of animals to ensure that the love is reciprocated and multiplied, and the non-profits and organizations that aim to both spread awareness and take tangible action towards ending animal cruelty rely on funding and support to do the best job of this that they can.

Leading the field in all of the above is the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society International.

On November 9, the Humane Society of the United States hosted its 9th annual To the Rescue! New York Gala, and raised an astounding $2 million to further the Humane Society of the United State’s and the Humane Society International’s work rescuing animals from unimaginable situations around the globe.

The Humane Society also honored Gucci with the Corporate Consciousness Award of the evening for the fashion powerhouse’s decision to go fur-free in 2017, which has since lead to dozens of other designers following suit (including Burberry, Versace, DKNY and Michael Kors.)

Take a look through the To the Rescue! New York Gala here:

The evening was a celebration of the efforts that companies and advocates alike have made to take a stand for animals, showing that animal advocacy is a fight that can be fought across all industries, whether you work in Entertainment, Fashion, Finance or anything in between.

Guests were reminded that the simple act of caring for our four-legged friends who cannot speak for themselves is always on-brand.

Hosting the event was Broadway star, actress and activist Sutton Foster who’s personal tie to the cause (and her adorable pups Mable and Brody) made the night that much more important to her:

“My very first dog was adopted through the Humane Society of New York — I have a wonderful relationship with Bill Berloni. If you ever see a dog or an animal on Broadway, he is the man usually behind it — and so every dog or animal that you see in a Broadway show is usually a rescue. I met Bill when I was doing the 20th anniversary of ‘Annie’ back in ’96 and I was terrified of dogs, but there were tons of dogs in the show and he turned my world around. When I was ready to adopt my first dog, Bill was the one who found it and then Mabel and our other dog, Brody, were both Bill Berloni. He’s also massively involved with the Humane Society here in New York and so I’ve just become a friend of the Humane Society. Every dog that I’ve adopted … the Humane Society has taken care of or it’s all been affiliated with the Humane Society.”

Foster’s companion on the red carpet was none other than Mabel herself, a living testament to the good that can come from choosing to adopt instead of shopping for a pet:

“Mabel is a rescue from a kill shelter in Texas … my first fog Linus had passed away and I was devastated. I called Bill [Berloni] and he works a lot with different foster care organizations that sort of rescue dogs from bad situations and Mabel was one of them … she was flown up on a Saturday and I met her on a Monday. My husband and I went to go meet her and about a mile after we drove away I was like ‘Pull over! We can’t leave her!’ She was like seven months old and she had a cold and she was jus sitting there kind of scared on a chair and so we turned around and we went back and we got her and she’s like, the greatest dog. When people meet Mabel and they find out that she was a rescue and adopted — I think I have five different friends that after meeting Mabel then went on to adopt their dog. She’s like this little mayor of adoption, she’s just the greatest.”

But dog-mom isn't the only role Foster's played when it comes to care-taking:

“When I was growing up we always had cats, but then I found out I was allergic to cats. But I’m definitley an animal person — I started off with goldfish and then moved on to a hamster and then eventually made my way on to taking care of a dog and now I have a daughter so it was like a stepping stone — that was my trajectory!”

For Foster (like so many) it all comes back to that idea of unconditional love and support — at the end of the day, even if we have nothing else left, we will always have our pets:

“No matter what type of day you’re having — whether or not you’ve won a Tony award or whether or not it’s been the worst day ever — your dog is always there. Mabel just wants to sit next to you, and she’s just sort of a constant. Having a pet is a huge responsibility … the only problem with dogs is that they just don’t live long enough. So you really want to give them the best life that you can give them and it’s this incredible thing. When my first dog passed away, it was the little pitter-patter of his feet that I missed the most — I just loved knowing that I had this sort of constant in my life. Dogs are just always there.”