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Evening to Paws Raises Record Funds for Arizona Animal Welfare League
By Claire Natale - Thursday Mar 19, 2020
The Arizona Animal Welfare League’s annual An Evening to Paws: Mutt Gala had all the pup-arazzi in Scottsdale busy on March 7 as four- and two-legged guests dressed to the nines walked the pink carpet rolled out at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa.

It was a record-breaking night for the state’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter, which raised $415,000 with the help of an anonymous donor who matched up to $100,000. This year, the money raised at this event goes to AAWL’s Medical Miracle Fund, which covers the cost of care for the most difficult rescues who come to the shelter.

The event’s honorary chair, Dr. Shanti Jha, was recognized on-stage for utilizing his medical expertise to hundreds of the most difficult cases that have come through the doors of AAWL over the years. The surgeon, who works for Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, doesn’t just use his time for severely complicated procedures; He has also paid out of pocket for resources, such as a titanium rod that enabled a dog to walk without pain.

Jha was reunited with many of the adopted dogs he has helped through the Medical Miracle Fund. To show off their new “leash on life,” dogs who have survived extreme medical needs walked across the event stage in bespoke outfits created by Ivan Lugo, the owner of Lugari Pet Salon in Scottsdale. Each outfit was personally crafted for the dog and then sold for donations to AAWL.

The Arizona Animal Welfare League rescues, rehomes and rehabilitates more than 4,000 animals every year. For more information about AAWL and its Medical Miracle Fund, visit