Arizona Animal Welfare League

This dog felt only a regal pose would match the luxurious look of this house.

They come in a variety of shapes and styles, from American rustic to European contemporary.

And come Friday, Feb. 25, 16 unique, handcrafted doghouses will be auctioned as the annual Design for Dogs event benefiting the Arizona Animal Welfare League returns for its eighth year to the Facings of America Showroom in Scottsdale. 

The one-of-a-kind fundraiser features 16 pet palaces that teams began working on in October as they vie for best of show honors – and help a worthy cause.

Proceeds aid the Arizona Animal Welfare League in caring for thousands of homeless animals and also fund its low-cost programs like low-cost vaccines, community clinic and rural rescue efforts.

 “Design for Dogs is a one-of-a-kind fundraising event and the unique aspect of this event is that it is a doghouse design and build competition along with the fundraising event,” said league spokeswoman Kimberly Vermillion. “You’ll get to bid on these unique dog houses that top creative talent in our local community have built while enjoying food, cocktails, cuddle with adoptable dogs and puppies and enter for raffle prizes.” 

This year is also likely to be the most competitive, as previous competitions have drawn 10 to 15 teams that will be judged by designer Peter Deise, radio host “Lady La” and tile designer Feras Irikat. 

“It’s definitely a little competitive with the best in show and since the dog houses are up for bid, there is some competition to see which one will sell for the most money,” Vermillion said. “We’re excited to see which house wins best in show and our attendees are excited to purchase them as well.” 

Each “paw-villion” will be unique and Vermillion believes there will be something for everyone to envision taking home. 

“All of the homes are very unique and there is no theme that the artists had to follow,” she said. “What’s nice is that everyone who is attending the event has different tastes and styles so they may be able to find one that fits perfectly in their backyard or in their home?”

Vermillion also hopes this event will help drive home the league’s mission. 

“The Arizona Animal Welfare League has been around for 50 years and is Arizona’s largest and oldest no-kill shelter,”  she said. “We help over 4,000 cats and dogs every year find their forever homes and we also partner with a lot of smaller rescues throughout the state to help them with resources to help them make room at their shelter so they can bring in more animals within their community.” 

The Arizona Animal Welfare League also hopes to raise at least $25,000 so that the nonprofit can continue its efforts in aiding other shelters around the state and be better equipped for a potential influx of animals to its shelter. 

“As a nonprofit, we solely rely on the generosity of our community,” Vermillion said. “We are seeing with the increase in rent and evictions that there could be an increase in the number of animals coming into our shelters because people are losing their homes.” 

This will also help the organization’s to vaccinate animals that may have fallen behind on getting shots over the past two years. 

“A lot of animal shelters have seen an increase in infectious diseases because animals have not been vaccinated,” Vermillion said. 

“We’re trying to work with our community to make sure that they have the resources and the connections to get their pets the vaccines they need and the care they need.”

Overall, Vermillion is excited to have this event back and is hopeful for a successful evening.  

“I hope that when people attend this event that they have a good time, receive a lot of puppy kisses and learn more about Arizona Animal Welfare League and find ways to support our organization and get involved,” she said. 


If You Go

What: Arizona Animal Welfare League and Facings of Arizona Design for Dogs event

When: 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25

Where: Facings of Arizona Showroom, 16421 N. 90th St., Scottsdale.

Cost: $55 for a general admission ticket or $100 for two


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