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Mouthful: Paws for Love features furry artists

  • Jeanine Leonard (L) and Ellyn Boone at the Paws For Love auction and gala held at the Finley Community Center Auditorium in Santa Rosa Saturday evening. The event is a benefit for local animal shelters and rescue groups. February 11, 2012 (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)

<b>Paws for Love Celebrates 15th Anniversary:</b> On Saturday night, Feb. 8, from 6 to 10 p.m. the Finley Community Center (2060 West College Ave., Santa Rosa), will be filled with animal lovers buying animal-created art and celebrating the success of one woman's tender vision.

One day more than 15 years ago, Ellyn Boone was inspired by her pup's footprints. That inspiration spawned a series of paintings that Boone completed with shelter animals.

She rented an empty store front in Healdsburg, hoping to make a few hundred dollars that she could donate to a local animal group. Sale of the paintings yielded a whopping $11,000 and the Paws for Love Gala Auction and Foundation were born.

All these years later, the foundation has helped thousands of animals throughout the country.

It supports spay and neuter clinics and senior-to-senior pet adoptions, funds emergency surgeries and more, all with funds raised at the annual auction and gala, along with a few other events.

"Only in Sonoma County," Boone often says of her labor of love.

The gala features nearly 100 framed paintings created by animals using their paws, tails and whiskers, along with passed appetizers, wine, a live auction, a raffle for a cruise and more, including a tarot card reader and a chance to meet adoptable animals.

This year, wines will be donated by Kenwood, Mutt Lynch and Pedroncelli.

Advance tickets are $40 and $50 at the door. You can find them at www.pawsforlove.info and at a variety of locations throughout Sonoma County, including Western Farm Center (21 West Seventh St., Santa Rosa), and Fideaux (43 North St., Healdsburg).

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