Better Makers: PAWS Chicago’s Animal Magnetism Gives People and Pets a Night on the Town

Hundreds of pet lovers, many accompanied by their canine companions, enjoyed an evening out at the sold-out PAWS Chicago Animal Magnetism event held Friday, March 11 at Morgan Manufacturing. A record breaking $190,000 was raised over the course of the evening to help homeless and at-risk pets. 

PAWS, which stands for Pets are Worth Saving, is Chicagoland’s largest no-kill shelter. Since its founding in 1997, it has led the reduction of the number of homeless pets killed in the city by more than 91%. 

paws chicago event
Canine guest Sebastian from Evanston. Photo courtesy of Forever Home Photography

Guests mingled, generously bid on incredible live and silent auction items, and dined on delectable tasting stations from Chicago’s top restaurants Avli on the Park, Truluck’s and Lou’s Backyard. Canine guests participated right along with their people by feasting on their own doggie buffet, taking photos at the puparazzi station, posing for caricature artists, and relaxing in the dog spa with pawdicures and massages. Both pets and people danced the night away to beats by DJ D Jones. 

Presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and hosted by PAWS Chicago’s Professional Board, the dog-friendly event, held annually since 2007, is a spectacular night out on the town to help fund critical lifesaving programs for Chicago’s homeless animals. The evening was emceed by FOX 32’s Jake Hamilton and 103.5 KISS FM’s Fred. This year’s co-chairs were Paige Krueger and Jena Gambaccini. 

Merrick Pet Care’s (of Evanston) Matt Benson & Carrie Boromisa with Jasper. Photo courtesy of Sparenga Photography

Several adoptable pets made their debut at the event, including Jefferey, a 6-year-old Yorkshire Terrier who received a lifesaving dental surgery due to advanced dental disease, and Gigi, a 3-month-old Retriever mix who was diagnosed with parvovirus and required round the clock care and intensive treatment to survive. While most shelters euthanize for parvo, PAWS Chicago’s Medical Center offers full-service hospitalization and is the only homeless pet hospital in the city equipped to take in hundreds of dogs and cats with serious medical issues and provide medical care without the risk of spreading contagious disease.

Allison Laughlin and Scott Atack of Glenview with dogs Finn and Tucker
Allison Laughlin and Scott Atack of Glenview with dogs Finn and Tucker. Photo courtesy of Forever Home Photography.

PAWS Chicago presented Animal Welfare Leadership Awards to Esther Barron for helping expand PAWS’s community outreach programs in under-resourced communities, and to Ellie Feldmann, Michele Herdzina, Alison Lindholm, Lisa Printen, Carrie Reznicek, and Jessica Cambry, six extraordinary volunteers who offer critical support as repeat fosters to animals in need. 


PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/Run won Better’s Best of 2021 for Best Charity Run/Walk. Register for their September 2022 event on their website.


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Donna Berry Glass

Donna Berry Glass is a freelance writer in Marin County who writes mostly about family and kid-oriented topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the natural beauty of Marin, snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel while reading a good book or whipping up something delicious in her space-challenged kitchen. Donna is a supporter of the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to seniors and disabled individuals.