Best in Sheaux
Canine competition helps with fundraising for Robinson’s Rescue
Thirteen of the area’s puppy pals will strut the runway and vie for the title of Best In Sheaux at Robinson’s Rescue’s 12th annual fundraiser event.
What began as a Tuesday night event at a local eatery has grown into a big stage production complete with glamorous fur baby models, says Robinson’s Rescue President Dr. Andrea Master Everson. “The dogs are what set this event apart from everything, and it ties in with our whole mission,” she said. “It’s neat to see the different types of dogs and to see how Robinson’s has affected their lives. Some of them come from shelters, some of them come from different backgrounds, but they all have a connection to our spay/neuter mission.”
Previously held at venues such as Riverview Hall and the Marlene Yu Museum, this year’s event has a hybrid format. Master Everson says Fairfield Studios created an Animal Planetstyle show about the canine catwalkers. It will air on June 5 on KPXJ – about a week before the live show. In the meantime, people can go online and vote for their favorite pet. “We’re encouraging people to watch it and fall in love with their favorite participant,” said Master Everson. “We raise about $10,000 from dog votes – so it gets competitive. You never know who’s going to win.”
Normally, the event would see about 400 people in attendance. The scaled down version will be for sponsors and their guests, with about 200 people expected. The VIP award show will be in downtown Shreveport at The Lot on June 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. and live stream on Facebook. The 13 pup participants will walk the runway at the event, and the winner will be announced.
Chef John Cariere (Fairfield Manor owner) is catering the event, which will also include music and a silent auction with 70 items up for bid. Voting for the top hound and the silent auction are already available online. Raffle tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at BIS2021.givesmart.com or by texting BIS2021 to 1-347-269-2225.
Some of the available raffles include a $500 gift card to Clarkes Jewelers and a case of Tito’s homemade vodka. The silent auction includes services from Ark-La-Tex Dermatology, Kendra Scott Jewelry from both LA Coin & Jewelry and Robinson’s Rescue, Lee Michael’s gift cards, sculptures donated by local artist David Poe and more. This year’s big draw item is a Drew Brees George Rodrigue print matted by Gamble’s Gallery.
The fundraiser accounts for 25% of the nonprofit’s funding for the year. All monies raised directly support the clinic’s mission to “prevent pet overpopulation through high-quality, affordable spay and neuter surgeries while educating the community about responsible pet ownership.” To date, more than 72,000 spay/neuter surgeries have been performed. Masters Everson says as they increase their surgery numbers, the intake numbers at local shelters decrease.
Masters Everson says a typical cat can have four to five litters per year, with six to eight litters per kitten. That’s up to 40 kittens from just one mama cat. “It costs $42 per day for Animal Control to house an animal. We’re really decreasing their financial need if we can decrease the overpopulation,” she said.
Robinson’s Rescue chairman of the board, Maureen O’Neil, says the clinic’s work has a big impact on Caddo, Bossier and other surrounding parishes. “When you’re driving down the road, you don’t often see packs of stray dogs or cats ... We don’t often think about why you don’t see that here in Shreveport and Bossier. A big reason why is because of the work we do,” she said.
Open for 12 years, Master Everson says the facility has not had to increase its low-cost prices thanks to fundraising, charging between $38 and $68 depending on the surgery needed and whether the pet is a cat or dog. The facility also performs surgeries on feral animals and administers rabies vaccinations. “Since the pandemic, we really have seen an increase in clients and the need. It’s important right now that we be able to continue our services,” she said. “We’re decreasing the feral cat population. We’re decreasing the number of animals and strays on our streets. We’re here to control the population so every animal can have this amount of love in their life.”