Wednesday, November 30, 2005 | Guests were invited to come and socialize with their four-legged canine friends at the Hotel Solamar in the Gaslamp area last Tuesday evening. The event, hosted by Jeep and Wendy Diamond of Animal Fair Media, got quite a mixture of purebreds and mutts, but all the dogs were special.

And people were there, too. Animal lovers mingled amidst some very well-behaved dogs. TV spokeswoman Darlene White of the San Diego Animal Support Foundation commented, “I am most impressed with the tremendous amount of dogs that were there … all spayed and neutered, of course … and not one fight, bite or accident! What a responsible group of dog owners and rescuers!”

Among the rescue agents there with adoptable dogs were Katie Davies of Pit Bull Rescue, Angela Doss of Rottie Rescue, Carrie Small, Robert Palmatier and Annelie Brinkmann of Operation Greyhound Rescue, Sandy Ghianni of the Chula Vista Animal Shelter, John Van Zante of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, Becky Rice and Brande Stampfly of FOCAS, Dorie Kilmer of Husky Rescue and Diana Stockdale of Senior Mutt Match.

There were “mutt martinis,” cheese, sliced meats and crackers for humans. The dogs were well taken care of with a doggy treat buffet and water bowls.

More there were Mary Kay Gagliardo from Shelter Pet Partners, Mary Helen and David Ish of FOCAS, JW August of Channel 10, Mario Escovedo, Marna Davis and anchor Beth Shelburne of KFMB News 8.

Shelburne was accompanied by the two males in her life: her husband Kevin Storr and her dog Angus. Shelburne, who spotlights dogs for adoption regularly on News 8, said, “It’s heartbreaking that there are so many homeless pets in San Diego, but it’s encouraging that many organizations are working to change that. San Diego really is a community full of people who care deeply about the welfare of animals and it warms my heart to see so many wagging tails at events like this.”

To learn more about the San Diego Animal Support Foundation, the shelters they support, and the animals up for adoption, please visit www.sdshelters.com.

Across town at the Del Mar Country Club, San Diegans came for the 7th Annual Crystal Ball. It was all to support Casa De Amparo’s mission to provide “safe shelter and a continuum of prevention and treatment services to abused, neglected and at risk infants, children and teens and their families in San Diego County.”

For Lynne and Dr. Stephen Wheeler the event is unique. It’s a “wonderfully successful event. The Crystal Ball has grown into one of the best run and most fun parties in San Diego! … Dancing and the band were tops.” For guest Lola Green “it was a magical evening for all who attended the Casa Gala … a floral fantasy was created in the ballroom of Del Mar Country Club and inspired all of us to donate generously to this wonderful cause.”

And donate they did. Honorary chair Stephen Hoffman and 340 black-tie dressed guests, bought tickets and bid big on exotic European trips and more. As a result of events like this, each year more than 200 San Diegan children in need will receive clothing, counseling, medical aid and shelter from Casa de Amparo.

Casa de Amparo has served San Diego since 1978. To learn more about this organization, please visit www.casadeamparo.org.

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