Jelly the dog who was adopted at Saturday’s fundraiser with her new owner. Credit: Elizabeth Noble

Saturday was a special day for a number of reasons; not only was the city bathed in glorious sunshine in a desperately needed break from the relentless gray and gloom, but the Pride celebrations kick off along the Third Street Promenade and the Santa Monica Animal Shelter’s second annual fundraiser was held at their HQ on 9th Street.

Attendees were able to enter a raffle with the chance to win some fantastic prizes, including gift certificates and gift baskets from many local Santa Monica businesses. In addition, there was the opportunity to win some unique experiences in the silent auction, the top prizes included a ride on a Santa Monica Harbor Patrol rescue boat or an educational experience with the Santa Monica Police Forensics Department.

“I’m so thrilled with the turnout and the tremendous support from the community. Everyone has been telling me what a wonderful time they had and how happy they were to come and support us,” says Elizabeth Noble, Chair, Santa Monica Animal Shelter Foundation.

Other events and attractions include face painting by The Magical Atelier, balloon animal headbands from Wild About Balloons LA, the chance to meet the Santa Monica Police Mounted Unit, delicious treats from Cadoro Bakery (including their to-die-for dark chocolate tahini brownies) and an indigenous bird presentation from Michael Chill with Wild Wings of California Wild Bird Rehabilitation Organization.

Plus, there was a live performance from School of Rock West LA house band, which included some belting performances from young Santa Monica singing talent. There are some future superstars among these talented musicians, that much is certain.

“We’re really hoping that people will take home a dog, a cat or a rabbit they’ve bonded with and give us a bit of room as we’re basically at capacity, so we’re hoping for a good day today,” said Lieutenant Robert Silverstein, Foundation Board Liaison.

Some belting performances from the School of Rock West LA house band helped create a carnival atmosphere on Saturday
PHOTOGRAPH: Elizabeth Noble

Mayor Gleam Davis was in attendance, accompanied by her shepherd/terrier, Sylvie, and Mayor Pro Tempore Lana Negrete and Councilmember Phil Brock also paid a visit.

“The shelter is full with lots of wonderful pets waiting to find their forever home and they take marvelous care of them here while they’re waiting for that and so fundraising is really key,” Davis said, adding, “Obviously, there’s a lot of mouths to feed and lot of pets with medical issues so I would just encourage everyone to go on the website and donate.”

According to the Shelter, five kittens, three dogs and one rabbit were adopted on Saturday. “We’re hoping that more dogs will be adopted this week as several people have scheduled time to come back for a second meet and greet with a dog they met at Saturday’s event,” Noble said.

Mayor Gleam Davis came along right after visiting the Pride celebrations also taking place on Saturday at the 3rd Street Promenade
PHOTOGRAPH: Elizabeth Noble

“We try to do everything we can to get these beautiful animals adopted and we have some really lovely raffle prizes that our merchants in Santa Monica have been so generous to donate. So there’s a lot of great things for people to bid on. People seem excited about it. And we finally got sunshine, right?!” Susan Hojer, Director for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and Foundation Board Member said.

Moreover, the event raised approximately $12,000 and the Shelter is continuing to see donations come in afterwards, from people who heard about the fundraiser but were unable to attend.

“I think the most important thing is to understand that we are a ‘no kill’ shelter and that we take care of the animals as long as they need to be taken care of. So I hope people will support the shelter by coming in and adopting and if you can’t adopt, you can still donate directly on the shelter’s website,” Davis said.

Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.