- May 24, 2017
Susan Giroux is ready to put on her fanciest fascinator and join hundreds of others dressed for a royal affair.
Giroux, the vice president of the board of directors at the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, said the death of Queen Elizabeth and knowing her love of animals inspired the Humane Society to have a British theme for its annual Divas and Dogs event, which will be at 11:30 a.m. March 31 at Lakewood Ranch Country Club.
“We thought it would be great to celebrate in British fashion,” she said. “I’m excited about seeing all the hats and fascinators. We’ve encouraged people to go wild, and it’ll just add to the fun of the event and make us feel a little bit like we’re in England.”
Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch volunteers will be modeling clothes and accessories from Twist Boutique and SunBug.
Giroux said the models range in age and body type so every person attending the fashion show can envision themselves in the outfits.
The fundraiser will include a hat and fascinator contest with a prize of a Jo Malone gift bag, a silent auction and parliamentary “yay or nay” game. There will be royal guards at the entrance of Lakewood Ranch Country Club.
Giroux will share the story of animals the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch has cared for this year.
“I don’t think we can talk about it enough because a lot of people don’t realize how sad some of the situations are out there, how many animals go through a lot, and what it takes for a shelter to get them back into good health,” Giroux said. “There are so many expenses we take on to get them up to snuff so they can be adopted and be healthy.”
The Humane Society is on pace to meet its goal of 275 adoptions this year.
The proceeds from Divas and Dogs will go toward general operating expenses for the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch.
“All of our funding is either through fundraising, grants or individual and business contributions,” Giroux said. “Every dollar counts to keep our doors open and expand our rescue efforts.”
Dani Ziegler, the manager of the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, rushed to Manatee County Animal Welfare to pick up a stray dog March 8.
She brought a 1-year-old dog back to the Humane Society with mange and in need of urgent medical treatment.
Ziegler said a $12,500 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County is helping to pay for urgent and emergency medical treatment for dogs and cats brought into the nonprofit.
The grant also has given the nonprofit the ability to buy a large incubator and two portable incubators available for foster families to use to care for puppies and kittens that need extra attention at home.
“We get a lot of bottle babies that are just in rough shape when they come in so it helps to be able to regulate their temperature and humidity a lot easier,” Ziegler said.
Ziegler said the humane society is in need of more people willing to become fosters, especially for puppies and kittens who need extra attention. She said the nonprofit will provide all the tools and resources fosters need to properly care for the animals and humane society staff will be available at all times for support.
Being a foster volunteer can be overwhelming at first, Ziegler said, but it’s a rewarding experience that helps the nonprofit be able to take care of more animals.
Ziegler said especially with kitten season starting, the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch will see more puppies and kittens needing to be bottle fed.