Last night, on the patio of Art and Soul on Capitol Hill, AnimalFair.com hosted its second annual White House Pet Correspondents’ Benefit. The dogs were generally well-behaved, though there was some growling, barking and butt-sniffing. How very Washington.
Wendy Diamond, the proprietor of AnimalFair, played host to raise money for Pets2Vets, which pairs returning veterans with adopted dogs. She was joined by her dog, Lucky, whom she calls the White House pet correspondent. The resident White House dog, Bo Obama, was not in attendance. He wasn’t even invited, though Diamond insisted his presence would have been welcome.
Pets2Vets, or P2V, was founded by David Sharpe in early 2010. Sharpe described suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and depression upon his return from tours of duty in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. But when he adopted a rescue dog, a three-month-old pitbull mix named Cheyenne, the feelings of depression subsided. It led him to found P2V, which he describes as “a Match.com between a sheltered pet and a veteran.” Pets offer “unconditional, pure love” and Sharpe says that veterans, who often feel judged opening up to doctors about their feelings, don’t feel the same way with animals. He said the program helps both the veterans who “just want companionship” and the dogs, which come from abusive homes.
The small crowd of human guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from Art and Soul, including mushroom puffs and fried mac and cheese, along with a wine bar. The canine guests, all under 21, were instead served water. They munched on treats and bones.
Attendees were also treated to cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake, decked out in red, white and blue. The owners of the store and the stars of TLC’s “D.C. Cupcakes,” Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis, made an appearance at the event, though they’ll be heading to New York today for an appearance on “The View”‘s royal wedding special.