PAWS event attracts animal lovers

During the live bid portion of last year’s Spotlight on PAWS auction, Pam and Peter Hendrick bid hard for the honor of having a photo of their feline “Pixie” prominently displayed on this year’s auction poster. Not only does “Pixie” grace the flier, she’ll be featured on the cover of the auction “cat-alog” and on all the wine and champagne bottles. To boot, the Hendricks will take home a case of the cutom-labeled wine  by Washington winery St. Hilaire Cellars.

That’s “purrfectly” typical of the annual event put on by PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap, known by local animal lovers for its pet- and animal-themed items.

For instance, Bainbridge Island resident Rebecca Wells, author of “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,”  has donated a writing workshop/soiree for eight in which she’ll gather with the winners for an evening of writing pet- or animal-related essays or short stories, which PAWS will publish on its website.

You think your cat has attitude now? If you’re the lucky bidder on “Your Famous Pet,” romance novelist Susan Wiggs will write your little darling right into her next book.

Port Gamble native Laura Daugereau, the first Washington woman to complete the Iditarod, has offered a unique adventure up for bidding. One paddle-raiser will win a chance to be part of the pit crew and support team for her professional sled dog team.

Artist and former Bainbridge Island resident Cheri Christensen has donated an original oil painting, “Leading the Girls.” With framing by Roby King Gallery, the item is valued at $2,200 and depicts a rooster and chickens (not pets, exactly, but still an item that honors animals and their role in people’s lives).

Joey Linford-Combs, a fourth-grader at The Island School, worked with his mother, jewelry designer Mary Linford, to create a sterling silver pendant of a kitty playing with a ball of yarn. The yarn ball is actually a single pearl.

Profits from sales of the pendants, on sale at the “Etsy” website and available for viewing on the “Joey’s Pendants for Paws” Facebook page, will be donated to PAWS. One of the pendants will be up for bid at the auction.

“I cannot believe it was such a popular design,” Joey said on the phone Wednesday.

An animal lover himself, Joey recently talked his parents into adopting two felines from the PAWS adoption center on Miller Road.

Spotlight on PAWS:

The 2011 Spotlight on PAWS Benefit Dinner and Auction is from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 10 at Wing Point Country Club, where former Evening Magazine host John Curley will emcee and act as auctioneer.

Tickets are $125 each  includes dinner and available at

A full-course dinner is included with the $125 ticket, but with the auction being so critical to the organization’s success – proceeds represent one-third of its operating budget – PAWS Executive Director Mark Hufford has enlisted former host of “Evening Magazine,” John Curley, now a professional auctioneer, to emcee the evening.

“He has never done an auction on Bainbridge,” Hufford said. “He’s absolutely hilarious.”

PAWS, which was started 35 years ago by three Bainbridge women out of a family garage, has developed over the years and offers a number of programs beyond its more widely known role in animal rescue work. The nonprofit organization offers a low-cost spay and neuter program; its Buddy Brigade takes therapy dogs into nursing homes, senior centers, schools and libraries; the pet food bank collects and distributes pet food to local food banks for pet-owners struggling to make ends meet; and its feral cat program helps reduce wild cat colonies.

It’s newest program is the PAWS Speaker Series. The first program, “Do you really need to be ‘Leader of the pack’?” given by professional dog trainer Judith Bell will be from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Bainbridge Commons, 370 Brien Dr.

To learn more, visit


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