Art of the Dog
Picture this: The house lights are slowly lowered as runway lights are brought up to their brightest setting on some of the most handsome and beautiful “fur babies” to strut their stuff for a good cause at the 10th annual Best in Sheaux fundraiser for Robinson’s Rescue.
The date for the spotlight on this year’s gala is Saturday, March 9, 6:30 until 9:30 p.m.; however, tickets are on sale right now for this popular, all-about-dogs event.
Candy Peavy, chairman of the board of directors and one of the cofounders of Robinson’s Rescue, said the event will take full advantage of its partnership with the newly renovated Marlene Yu Museum, and will be held in the historic YWCA building at 710 Travis St., downtown Shreveport.
“In honor of our theme and our partnership with the Rainforest Art Foundation and Marlene Yu Museum, we have put together a juried art show, which will be unveiled to the public on the night of Best in Sheaux,” Peavy said. “It will continue to hang in the museum until May 1 and features local artists who responded to the simple mandate of ‘Art of the Dog.’” This art show will adorn the walls in the Rainforest Art Gallery, where Chef John Cariere (owner of Fairfield Manor) will have his long buffet table of artsy food during the gala so virtually all the guests will be able to admire it.
“Chef Cariere is the one who came up with the theme for the event when I told him where it was going to be,” Peavy said. “His food will be wonderful – it will be colorful.”
Best in Sheaux will have a completely different feel to it this year, Peavy said, who is working with honorary co-chairs Pam Avant and Karen Evans.
“The actual runway show will have chairs lined up along the runway, as in a fashion show,” she said. “In previous years, we’ve had tables, but this year, it will be rows and rows of chairs.”
There will be tables for eating, however, and the event is divided into four rooms.
“We are utilizing the entire building,” she pointed out.
But, of course, the stars of the Best in Sheaux: Gala are the runway models.
“Any dog can be a show dog, and you are the judge of the competition,” Peavy said.
This year 20 local dogs, all different breeds and backgrounds, will walk the runway and compete for the title of Best in Sheaux, which is determined by community votes.
“Several of these dogs are rescue dogs – none of these are repeat ‘sheaux’ dogs,” Peavy said. “These will all be new faces.”
In true Louisiana balloting style, at this competition votes are purchased. Each vote is $5, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to Robinson’s Rescue. Every vote counts and helps the organization get one step closer to reaching their $100,000 fundraising goal, which, Peavy said, is only 20 percent of the organization’s annual budget.
“We start the voting two weeks ahead of time online,” Peavy said. “And people can buy as many votes for a dog as they want to. Everybody goes out on their social media sites and promotes their dogs.”
Online voting is closed the day before the event (March 8). More votes may be purchased at the event.
“People get pretty creative soliciting votes for their animals,” she said. “The voting can get highly competitive. But the more competitive, the more money for Robinson’s Rescue, and the winner gets their dog’s photo in our calendar for the following year.”
Other unique aspects of Best in Sheaux are the raffle and silent auction. This year, Robinson’s Rescue will be raffling three amazing packages, which include gift cards to area restaurants, vouchers for personal pampering and tickets to exciting local events.
Peavy said raffle tickets are already on sale online.
“They are listed on our website,” she said. “There is a page dedicated to it, robinsonsrescue.org/best-in-sheaux.”
In addition, Best in Sheaux will include a silent auction with prizes like a Wheelbarrow of Wine and a stunning pair of Konstantino earrings donated by Lee Michaels Jewelry. In keeping with the Art of the Dog theme, there will be a professionally framed print from the master of Louisiana dog art himself, George Rodrigue, only available through a nonprofit organization fundraiser, Peavy said.
Finally, guests at the 10th annual Best in Sheaux fundraiser can enjoy complimentary Great Raft beer, wine, their signature Pink Poodle Martinis made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, as well as a cash bar, a catered dinner by Fairfield Bed and Breakfast and much more.
Named for a local businessman, Bill Robinson, the clinic has spayed/neutered more than 58,000 local animals and prevented more than one million unwanted animals from overpopulating the community since 2008. The clinic works with shelters in Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto and other surrounding parishes.
“Last year alone, we did around 6,400,” said Dr. Andrea Master Everson, president of Robinson’s Rescue. “As a result of these surgeries provided to pets in need in our community, we estimate that we have reduced our pet overpopulation by 2,500 animals, just during the past six months. That is based on our veterinary experience, anticipating that each female dog served will birth an average of 11 puppies, and each female cat will birth an average of 15 kittens over this time frame.”
Dr. Everson said the ASPCA estimates that municipal shelters, such as Caddo Parish Animal Control, spend an average of $125 to feed, house and euthanize one pet over three days.
“If we multiply $125 times the 2,500 animals we saved from entering our shelter, we can estimate that our spay/neuter program has saved Caddo Parish Animal Control $312,500 over this six-month period of time,” she said. “In addition to the economic benefit, Caddo Parish Animal Control has seen decreases in both their shelter intake and euthanasia as a result of our spay/neuter programs.”
Between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 30, 2017, CPAC took in 6,450 animals and euthanized 3,263 (51percent) animals. During the same time period in 2018, shelter intake at CPAC decreased to 5,800 animals, and the shelter’s euthanasia rate decreased to 2,222 (38 percent) animals.
In 2012, the pinnacle of the community’s pet overpopulation program, Caddo Parish Animal Control’s total annual intake was 10,825 animals, and 8,936 of these pets were euthanized, nearly 83 percent of those taken in during that year.
“We are excited to see shelter intake decrease and the shelter’s euthanasia rate decrease to 38 percent,” Dr. Everson said. “This is proof that Robinson’s Rescue’s Subsidized Spay/Neuter Incentive Program is working and making a difference in our community.”
To purchase your ticket, visit https://robinsonsrescue.org/best-in-sheaux/.
For more information, call 318-221-0017 ext. 9, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Robinson’s Rescue at 2515 Line Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71104.
BEST IN SHEAUX
Going hand-in-paw, but not to be confused with one another are the Best in Sheaux Robinson’s Rescue Gala fundraiser and the Art of the Dog Gallery Art Show.
“Robinson’s Rescue and Rainforest Art Foundation distributed a call to artists last fall requesting multimedia submissions with dogs as the sole subject matter,” said Candy Peavy, chairman of the board of Robinson’s Rescue. “About 40 works were chosen to hang in the Rainforest Gallery at the museum.”
Peavy said the ticketed gala, Best in Sheaux, which takes place Saturday, March 9, will serve as a “preview” of this gallery showing, while Rainforest Art Foundation will host a public reception for the artists’ Art of the Dog as an early Earth Day celebration from 5 until 7 p.m., Saturday, April 6.
The show will continue to hang in the museum’s Rainforest Gallery through Wednesday, May 1.
“Some of the art will be for sale, some of the artists will accept commissions only, and a small portion of any sales will benefit both Robinson’s Rescue and Rainforest Art Foundation,” Peavy said.