By Sophia Ricco
Dogs strutted their stuff and wagged their tails in hopes of catching the eye of a future family during Little Shelter’s Rescue Runway Fashion Show held on March 21.
Little Shelter’s eighth annual fashion show fundraiser was hosted at Ferrari-Maserati of Long Island, an ideal backdrop for the lavish night. Potential families had a chance to meet and greet Little Shelter’s adoptable models before they got glammed up for the runway.
The parade of pooches enchanted the audience. News 12’s Danielle Campbell served as the show’s emcee, and spotlighted shelter dogs for adoption.
“There are so many homeless animals out there and there just aren’t enough homes to go around,” Little Shelter executive director David Ceely said. “This allows these dogs, who are in need of a loving home, to make a splash with the public.”
The event showcased dogs of all ages, sizes and backgrounds with the hopes that many would find their forever home. The shelter takes in animals with special or medical needs, like Daisy, a shih-tzu missing her front paw or Bella, a pug with a wheelchair. The shelter helps rehabilitate the animals and get them ready for adoption.
Little Shelter also continues to play an active role in rescuing animals from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Many of these rescued pups had their first chance for adoption at the fashion show.
“We work with the Town of Huntington Animal Shelter as well,” Ceely said. “We worked with them on a sixteen year old pitbull and later found she had BB pellets in her skin. So we got her medically ready and she will premiere for adoption at the fashion show.”
Dogs were dolled up in exclusive pieces from The Official Kane & Couture by Julie Lancaster from Off the Cuff Stuff for Pets, while FETCH Shop of Huntington village produced the show.
The Rescue Runway Fashion Show began as a fundraiser to aid Little Shelter with repairs after Hurricane Sandy caused considerable damage to the facility. The shelter has been a part of the Huntington community for 92 years, and has strong local support. As a grassroots organization that receives zero funding from the government, Little Shelter relies solely on donations and volunteers to operate.
“The benefit of the fundraiser is tri-fold, since we run Little Shelter, the Town of Huntington Cat Shelter and a sanctuary,” Ceely said. “The sanctuary is what keeps us a true no kill shelter. If a dog has grown old or is overlooked for medical or behavioral reasons, they can go there and live out the rest of their lives in comfort.”
Dogs enjoy freedom and time to decompress at the 124-acre sanctuary in upstate New York, where each pup has their own room, 24-hour care and plenty of space for exercise. Little Shelter works to house as many animals as possible, always running at maximum capacity.
“There is nothing like the feeling of rescuing an animal and they know they’ve been saved,” Ceely said. “But when you adopt, you don’t just save that animals life, you also save the life of another animal because it opens up a space for us to bring them to the safety of Little Shelter.”