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‘Black Tie for Paws’ benefit returns on Saturday

From left, Rolissa Nash, with Shadow, and Ginny

From left, Rolissa Nash, with Shadow, and Ginny Anzian, with Don Diego, at last year's inaugural Black Tie for Paws fundraiser in Bay Shore. (Feb. 25, 2012) (Credit: Judith B. McCleery)

Pups and bowties are normally not two things that mix.

But Doggie “U” K9 Academy, a puppy training facility in Bay Shore, is hoping to change that with its 'Black Tie for Paws' benefit Saturday night. The benefit will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight at the facility, and proceeds will be donated to Shelter Link and Almost Home Animal Rescue Inc., two not-for-profit organizations that specialize in animal care on Long Island.

The benefit will feature guests in cocktail attire, and an invitation and accompanying dress code is extended to some snazzy canines.

“Last year, they [the dogs] were dressed to the nines,” said Stewart Manor’s Ginny Anziani, co-owner of Doggie “U.” “We had dogs walking in with ties, bows, tuxedos, hats and all sorts of paraphernalia.”

Black Tie is produced by Anziani and Rolissa Nash, of Islip Terrace, co-owner of Doggie “U”. Both Anziani and Nash have a long withstanding love for animals and, in founding Doggie “U,” sought an opportunity to contribute to the community.

“Doggie ‘U’ was basically a dream my partner, Rolissa Nash, and I had,” said Anziani. “We always loved [dog training] and wanted to give people a nice facility where they could get together and continue on with the sport.”

Anziani and Nash began hosting Black Tie last year and have plans to continue producing the benefit each year.

Bay Shore’s Shelter Link, which works with the Town of Islip Animal Shelter, and Bohemia-based Almost Home, which trains animals to make them more adoptable, are this year’s beneficiaries. Shelter Link is a returning beneficiary, while Almost Home is a newcomer to the event.

“It [the money] will help provide some of the major funding to help us continue our programs out in the community,” said Rita Schrecongost, a founding member of Shelter Link.

One such program is Shelter Link’s Feral Cat Program, which offers care for cats within Islip that do not have a home.

“Some [feral cats] are fortunate that they have someone to take care of them, but some are living in these huge colonies and end up getting sick or hit by a car,” said Schrecongost. “We try to do what we can to help the population that’s there.”
Tickets are $65 in advance and $75 at the door. For more information, call 631-968-7972 or visit www.doggieuk9.com.

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