Arizona Animal Welfare League’s annual An Evening to Paws: Mutt Gala on March 7 at the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia was a record-breaking night for the state’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. With the help of a generous anonymous donor who matched donations up to $100,000, the evening raised $415,000. Money from the event will benefit AAWL’s Medical Miracle Fund, which covers the cost of care for the most difficult rescues who come to the shelter.
Dr. Shanti Jha, the evening’s honorary chair, was recognized on stage for utilizing his medical expertise In hundreds of these difficult cases over the years. The surgeon, who works for Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, not only uses his time for severely complicated procedures, but also has paid out-of-pocket for resources, such as a titanium rod that enabled a dog to walk without pain.
Jha was reunited with many of the adopted dogs he has helped through the Medical Miracle Fund. To show off their new “leash on life,” dogs who have survived extreme medical needs walked across the event stage in bespoke outfits created by Ivan Lugo, owner of Lugari Pet Salon in Scottsdale. Each outfit was personally crafted for the dog and then sold for donations to AAWL.
PHOTOS COURTESY ARIZONA ANIMAL WELFARE LEAGUE