Animal lovers come together to raise money for the Humane Society of Sonoma County

The gala featured a vegetarian dinner and the always-popular cake auction.|

Almost 300 people gathered at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens in Santa Rosa on Aug. 5 for the Humane Society of Sonoma County’s annual Wags, Whiskers & Wine gala.

The evening featured a vegetarian dinner catered by Park Avenue Catering, wine donated by Kendall-Jackson and a cake auction hosted by state Sen. Mike McGuire.

Attendees gathered on a big grassy lawn dotted with picnic tables surrounded by string lights and enjoyed music played through speakers set around the property. They ate and drank as the sun fell behind the hills.

“It just looked so sparkly and beautiful,” the Humane Society of Sonoma County’s Director of Development and Communications Priscilla Locke said.

Animal-assisted therapy dogs, trained to behave well around humans, roamed the venue, stopping to sniff and lick guests. An air-conditioned trailer full of kittens available for adoption was set up to the side of the dining area.

The always-popular cake auction, featuring 10 cakes from local bakeries, was a highlight of the night, Locke said. The most expensive creation, decorated with macarons and a fondant puppy face, went for $30,000.

More than $240,000 was raised, which will be used to buy food and supplies for the nonprofit’s Santa Rosa and Healdsburg shelters and to support medical programs, including its low-cost spay/neuter clinic, according to Locke.

“If you care about the animals in our community and want to celebrate them and celebrate the love we feel for animals, especially animals in need, it's a beautiful place to come,” Locke said.

The Humane Society of Sonoma County runs two no-kill shelters and provides medical treatment, training services and adoption assistance to animals in need in Sonoma County.

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