NEWINGTON - A night of food, fun and foster puppies at the Connecticut Humane Society’s Diamonds in the Ruff gala has transformed into surgeries, medicine and more for pets in need.
The recent event raised over $45,000 at The North House in Avon, thanks to donors, sponsors and more than 150 guests. The evening’s proceeds are now funding veterinary care for pets at CHS.
While the gala celebrated pets, it also highlighted the contributions of one of Connecticut’s biggest pet advocates: Renee DiNino.
The River 105.9 radio personality was inducted into the Connecticut Humane Society’s Gertrude O. Lewis Humanitarian Society.
“Living that dream of being able to combine my two passions is the greatest thing on the planet. I get to the mic, and it’s my job, it’s my obligation, it’s my duty to promote kindness, because when we’re kinder to animals, we’re kinder to people,” said DiNino, who is also a syndicated radio host for 9 iHeartRadio Connecticut stations, WFSB TV traffic reporter fill-in and Better Connecticut show correspondent.
“That makes for a better planet, and I truly do believe that.”
DiNino is the fourth person to receive the prestigious award from CHS. The exclusive group includes Jill Rappaport, an American journalist best known for her correspondent work for NBC’s TODAY show and NBC’s Nightly News; William Berloni, the recipient of a Tony Award honor and famed theatrical animal trainer; and Heidi Voight, NBC Connecticut anchor and journalist.
DiNino has long used her public platform on TV and radio to advocate for pets. She’s a go-to among the animal community for everything from promoting fundraisers, to finding a new home for a pet in need, or lending her voice (and her tunes) at a special event. Her “Pets and People” radio segment on iHeartRadio stations raises awareness of animal welfare in Connecticut, and her past rescue dog, Daisy Mae, inspired a children’s book.
Gala guests also enjoyed a multi-course dinner, animal-themed trivia, a photo booth, and a visit with CHS foster puppies.
“I hope you all got some time cuddling those puppies,” CHS Executive Director Gordon Willard told the crowd. “They’re just a few of the reasons we are here this evening. Right now we have 277 pets in our care and so many more from the community being served daily at our Fox Memorial Clinic.”
Pets don’t just get food and shelter at CHS. Each one gets medical care, whether it’s a routine spay or neuter and vaccinations, or a surgery with a specialist for a complicated condition, Willard added.
“None of this is possible without you. Tonight is a celebration of our shared love and respect for animals, and it is a night to recognize the kind heart of a special person in the local animal welfare community,” Willard said. “And while we celebrate shared accomplishments for animals, the work is not done. There are and will be more animals who need help, and who need all of us to keep caring.”
Sponsors who made the night possible include Title Sponsor Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Presenting Sponsors RKD Alpha Dog, Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Connecticut Public Radio.
Proceeds will support lifesaving care for pets at CHS’ three locations in Newington, Waterford and Westport, including emergency surgeries, treatment for chronic conditions, and round-the-clock care for orphaned, newborn pets.
CHS serves pets from all over the state through its three locations, staff medical department and Fox Memorial Clinic, a reduced-fee veterinary office open to the public. For more information on CHS, visit CThumane.org.
The Connecticut Humane Society is the leading resource in the state for companion animal welfare, enriching the lives of families and communities through adoption services, medical care, education, and prevention of cruelty. The Connecticut Humane Society is not affiliated with any national animal welfare groups, does not receive government funding, and does not euthanize for time, space, breed or age. To learn more about the Connecticut Humane Society, please visit www.cthumane.org or call 1-800-452-0114.