Getting a pet from an abused state to an adoptable state takes time, love and money. So Friends of Animals Utah (FOAU) will team with McMillen Fine Art Photography and the Fox School of Wine for the second annual Yappy Hour, an evening of wine and pet pairings, on Saturday, Feb. 8.
The event will take place at Jared and Trish McMillen's gallery at the Redstone Plaza at Kimball Junction.
Lisa Allison, FOAU's executive director, said last year's event was such a success that everyone wanted to do it again.
Trish and I met last year when they opened their gallery and she and Jared are huge animal supporters and very animal-friendly," Allison said. "They wanted to do something with us, so the first Yappy Hour was last year."
The photographers visited the FOAU rehabilitation ranch and took photos of the pets that were ready for adoption.
In turn, during the event, Kristen Fox of the Fox School of Wine paired the dogs with wines that fit the animals' personalities.
"Then they sold the photos, with part of the proceeds benefiting FOA Utah, and it turned out to be a lot of fun," Allison said. "They told me they wanted to continue doing this. So Trish is coming out to the ranch to take more photos, so it will be a similar evening to last year's event. And it's going to be a very casual event with music, light food and camaraderie."
This year, the event will feature VIP tickets.
"This will give participants access to some different wines," Allison said.
This year's event will feature a new photo unveiling by the McMillens.
"We're welcoming a new series called 'Utah Horses' into our collection," Jared McMillen told The Park Record. "We will eventually have 10 or 12 photographs in the series and the first piece will be unveiled the evening of the Yappy Hour.
The McMillens will offer five of their artist proofs of the photograph that night for sale.
"A percentage of the proceeds from that will also go directly to Friends of Animals," he said.
Taking photos of horses have always been on the McMillens' minds.
"We have done a little bit in the past, but I've wanted to wait until it was the right time to really go out and do an involved project," McMillen said.
All the horse photos that will eventually be included in the "Utah Horses" collection will be totally different than anything the gallery has available.
"The photos will be printed on a fine art, archival bamboo paper, which is not the high-gloss feel that most of our stuff is on at the gallery," McMillen said. "It makes the images softer."
With that quality of paper, McMillen wanted to wait and photograph the horses in a really heavy snowstorm.
"The paper has a lot of texture to it and I think the snow adds texture to the images as well," he said. "We've been lucky to have some snow storms in the past couple of months, so we went to Kamas and the Heber and Midway area."
Allison said she is grateful for fundraisers like the Yappy Hour, because the fees paid when a family adopts a pet generally don't cover half of the costs it takes to rescue and rehabilitate an animal.
"When the dogs and cats first come to us, they get a full medical exam," she said. "They get spayed or neutered and full vaccinations."
The animals also get a full internal and external parasite check and a dental checkup.
"If they need any teeth extractions, we do that," Allison said. "We also get them microchipped and wormed."
Dogs are tested for heartworms and cats are tested for any viruses.
"We also do temperament testing to see if the animals have any behavioral issues that need to be addressed and will do training and socialization," Allison said. "Also, depending where we rescue them from, the pets may need a bath. Some of them who have been through our system have been severely matted."
So FOAU works with Park City Pet Grooming, which donates its time to groom the prospective pets.
"In some cases, the matting is so bad that we just shave them down completely," Allison said.
Some of the animals arrive wounded.
"We also work with veterinary orthopedic surgeons if needed to get these pets healthy," Allison said. "It's all about getting these pets healthy and ready for adoption to great families."
The Yappy Hour, an evening of wine and pet pairing, will take place Saturday, Feb. 8, at McMillen Fine Art, 1678 Redstone Center Dr. Tickets are $45 per person or $65 for VIPs, and can be purchased online by visiting www.mcmillenfineartphotography.com or by calling 435-575-1270.