On the eve of Tuesday, Dec. 17, the Grand Ballroom of the famed Biltmore Hotel was alive with the patter of little feet, or should we say paws? More than 650 guests with their pets celebrated the holiday season by attending “Animal Christmas at the Biltmore Hotel,” benefiting the Pets’ Trust — the Miami initiative to stop the killing of animals.
The evening glittered with dogs dressed in their finest holiday attire munching on ‘arfpetizers’ and gourmet treats by Laly of the Doggie Bag Café. Their owners were served equally scrumptious fare by several local pet-friendly restaurants including: Crepemaker, Sidewalk Salads, RA-Sushi and Sawa restaurant. Desserts were deliciously provided by You Oughta Taste My Mama’s Cakes.
The Children’s Voice Chorus performed Christmas Carols and there were appearances by Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter and his wife, Cindy, and Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami (with Sweetie her rescue dog). Pets’ Trust supporter and founder of the Children’s Trust David Lawrence was there with his wife, Roberta.
But the highlight of the evening was when “Puppy,” a crippled dog outfitted with a homemade wheelchair strutted across the stage. Puppy recently wandered from his home and ended up in Animal Services. A relative in Cuba saw him on TV and Puppy was reunited with his family.
Through the efforts of the Pets’ Trust, Dr. Michael Wong, a veterinarian specializing in neurosurgery, met Puppy on stage and offered his services to diagnose and possibly perform life changing surgery on the dog — at no cost to the family. Everyone was hoping for a Christmas miracle for Puppy.
There were vendors available for Christmas shopping and several pet rescues including Friends Forever Rescue, 600 Million Dogs, One by One Dog Rescue, Pet Haven Rescue, Smitten with Kittens and the Cat Network. All had pets up for adoption and many found loving homes for the holiday season.
More importantly, funds were raised for the Pets’ Trust. Funding dedicated to stop the killing of adoptable animals in Miami- Dade County. Though the ballot question garnered 500,000 votes in the November 2012 election, elected officials denied the will of the people. Pets’ Trust supporters are clear in their mission and it was the consensus of everyone attending: “We will never give up!”
To be a Pets’ Trust supporter or to donate, go to www.PetsVoice.org or call Michael Rosenberg at 305-439-3571.