Dog Eat Dog World of Silicon Valley

Pups hit the red carpet at Fur Ball 2010.

44 photos
1/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Lilly, in her party-wear, takes a break before dancing starts at the 7th Annual Fur Ball. This party/auction is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV.) Early tallies suggest it may have brought in $400,000 for the HSSV's mission: "to save and enhance lives."
2/44
Gabrielle Coleman
The theme of this year's Fur Ball was "Top Hat and Tails" - old Hollywood Glamour...
3/44
Gabrielle Coleman
... with young Hollywood attitude.
4/44
Gabrielle Coleman
430 people attended this year's event - a new record and about 100 more than last year.
5/44
Gabrielle Coleman
NBC Bay Area Meteorologist, Craig Herrera, has two rescue dogs, Sasha (lhaso apso) and Kaya (basenji mix). Craig is a long-time humane society volunteer and has been emceeing the Fur Ball for five years.
6/44
Gabrielle Coleman
NBC Bay Area's Craig Herrera isn't just there for the black-tie events - he comes in regularly during the week to walk and help socialize the pets. (In this photo, Craig's lhaso apso, Sasha)
7/44
Gabrielle Coleman
One of several dogs at the event looking for a "forever home"
8/44
Gabrielle Coleman
A volunteer holds another adoptable dog.
9/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals and children began organizing in the late 1700's and early 1800's. At that time, people were moving to cities to work in factories and realized that animals and kids could be good for something other than food and free labor. (I'm not sure what this implies about kids, but pets got protection first!)
10/44
Gabrielle Coleman
It's believed that dogs, pigs and goats may have been the first three domesticated animals, in part because they followed humans around and ate their trash.
11/44
Gabrielle Coleman
The Humane Society Silicon Valley was established in 1929 and serves mostly dogs, cats, rabbits and "pocket pets," like hamsters.
12/44
Gabrielle Coleman
The key to a good adoption is finding the right person for the right pet!
13/44
14/44
15/44
Gabrielle Coleman
After the red carpet walk, the party moved inside for mingling, hors d'ouevres, wine tasting, dog portraits and a silent auction. Following that, there was dinner, a live auction, and dancing.
16/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Several artists painted dog portraits during the cocktail hour.
17/44
Gabrielle Coleman
18/44
19/44
Gabrielle Coleman
HSSV President, Catherine Benninger with her dog, Lilly.
20/44
Gabrielle Coleman
More than 12 wineries hosted tasting stations
21/44
Gabrielle Coleman
22/44
Gabrielle Coleman
23/44
Gabrielle Coleman
According to Alexis Grenzer, Manager of Development, (not shown) the best thing you can do to help is to adopt a pet. If can't adopt, you can sponsor a pet adoption. Adoption sponsorship, which covers spay/neuter and other costs, helps pets who have been in the shelter for over 100 days and are having a tougher time "standing out."
24/44
Gabrielle Coleman
The HSSV also needs volunteers to walk and play with shelter animals to keep them happy and well-socialized - especially during the day on weekdays.
25/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Excessive pet adoption is a job hazard at the HSSV. Alexis Grenzer, Manager of Development, has a soft spot for "senior" pets and has adopted four dogs and three cats, all 10+ years old.
26/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Several groups provided sweet treats, including, La Fondue, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Silver Moon. This is pomegranate martin sorbet by Silver Moon.
27/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Mango mimosa sorbet by Silver Moon
28/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Red velvet cake by Nothing Bundt Cakes
29/44
Gabrielle Coleman
30/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Lee Bear waits patiently during dinner.
31/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Kara Madsen (center) is a long time Humane Society supporter, but this was her first Fur Ball. About half of the event attendees were first-timers.
32/44
Christine Benninger, HSSV president for 17 years, has help to transform the organization - including overseeing a move into a new, "green" building last year.
33/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Lissa Kreisler, KBAY, and Craig Herrera, NBC Bay Area, emceed the event.
34/44
35/44
36/44
37/44
Gabrielle Coleman
The crowd "tests" their auction paddles before the bidding starts.
38/44
Gabrielle Coleman
The live auction had two components: a regular live auction, and then a pledge drive for the "Fund-in-Need."
39/44
Gabrielle Coleman
The "Fund-in-Need" helps animals with special medical or behavioral challenges. Auctioneers ask the crowd who would like to support the fund at various levels. At most levels, the air is full of auction paddles. (In photo: congratulating a winner)
40/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Thanks to a matching pledge of $100,000, the Fund-in-Need drive raised an estimated $220,000 for special needs animals.
41/44
Gabrielle Coleman
NBC Bay Area Meteorologist, Craig Herrera, pledges support during the Fund-in-Need drive.
42/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Silent auction items
43/44
Gabrielle Coleman
Silent auction items
44/44
Contact Us