If you have any doubt about the precious appeal of shelter dogs, look more closely at the canine presence in Vogue
fashion layouts by the iconic Bruce Weber
. He uses shelter dogs, many from ARF. Weber and his longtime companion, collaborator and agent, Nan Bush, were honored at the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) Bow Wow Meow Ball.
Violet is waiting to find her forever home at ARF. (Photo: Lisa Tamburini)
"We see them every summer," Executive Director Scott Howe told us, giving us visions of a benign casting couch. "Bruce also uses his photos shoots and essays in magazines like Vogue
to talk about rescuing animals." Past honorees Katharina Otto-Bernstein and Peter Marino presented the award.
David Monn and Alex Papachristidis created a magical mid-summer's dream-like setting of greenery. Cloud Catering & Events presented sustainable fish and vegan specialties and the Peter Duchin Orchestra provided elegant entertainment.
This is Howe's second Ball as Executive Director. And adoptions are up. "We're on track to adopt 200 more animals this year, a 15 percent increase from the last," he told us. "This year, we will rescue 1,700 and adopt 1,600."
"We've completely renovated our medical wing, and just dedicated a new surgery suite, so that our two veterinarians can operate side by side. There are 185 animals right now in the shelter. About 25 percent of our animals are local, which is why ARF was founded. As ARF grew, we realized we had to have the capacity to help in areas where poverty is greatest. That's where animals are being euthanized."
ARF recycles these dogs from death row to deep pockets. Many end up on private planes and Porthault pillows. They deserve it. "We always have a good group of puppies, but we get their mothers at the same time," said Howe. "We have dogs from China rescued from the meat market and puppy mill rescues as well. Some of them are pure breed dogs but have never known life outside the cage. ARF is their first taste of freedom."
Alex Papachristtidis and Scott Nelson. (Photo: Lisa Tamburini)
Want to pitch in? "We have volunteers who help us every morning and evening walking the dogs," Howe continued. "Every animal who comes in has to go through an isolation phase, to make sure they're healthy and of course are spayed and neutered." That's where the community comes in, doubling ARF's workforce.
Founded in 1974, by Barbara Hotchkiss Posener, Sony Schotland and Dorothy Wahl, ARF has grown to become a regional leader for animal welfare in New York. Board members are: Lisa McCarthy, President; Lewis Berman, DVM, Executive Vice President; Polly Bruckmann, Past President; Michael Franzino, Vice President; Zoe Kamitses, Vice President; William P. Rayner, Past President; Christina MacDonald, Treasurer; Rachel Sumers, Vice President; Barbara Slifka
, Secretary; David Brownstein, Guenther E. Greiner, Gordon H. Hoppe, Jay Kuhlman, DVM, Dale Ellen Leff, Robert Liberman, Summer Louchheim, Gigi Mahon, Alex Papachristidis, Sandra Powers, Katharine Rayner, Christopher Schwabacher, Amy Sullivan, Barbara Washkowitz and Barbara Zucker.
For more information, visit www.arfhamptons.org.