Western Arizona Humane Society thanks supporters at annual Top Hats & Tails event

May 7, 2019

More than 300 Lake Havasu City residents gathered at London Bridge Resort Convention Center Saturday evening to lend their support to the Western Arizona Humane Society at its annual Top Hats & Tails event.

As the organization prepares to open its new animal shelter on Sweetwater Avenue later this month, Humane Society Executive Director Patty Gillmore says it’s a day many thought would never come – and wouldn’t have, without the support of Lake Havasu City, the organization’s supporters and dozens of volunteers.

“This event is where we’ll discuss board members and talk about the new animal shelter,” Gillmore said. “We’re here to thank the people who built this, and made this dream possible. We’ve done it … we’ve done it.”

The 18,000 square-foot facility on Sweetwater Avenue will replace a 40-year-old animal shelter on Empire Drive, which Humane Society supporters say is beginning to decay. With rusted cages, no centralized cooling or heating system and cramped spaces, Gillmore has endeavored for the past several years to see the old facility replaced.

That goal will come to fruition with the opening of the new facility on May 13. The new Sweetwater Avenue facility, near the intersection of Acoma Boulevard and State Route 95, will be far more visible to the Havasu public. It will consolidate services provided by the organization’s intake, quarantine and veterinary facilities, which were previously located at separate addresses throughout Havasu. The Humane Society is still paying for the $2.3 million facility, with the hope of eventually purchasing the property in its entirety.

“We’re hoping to raise as much money as possible tonight,” Gillmore said at Saturday’s event.

Saturday’s Top Hats & Tails event included a three-course meal, wine and refreshments, silent auctions and live auctions; and raffles to raise money toward the Humane Society’s operations.

The Humane Society’s Empire Drive animal shelter will close its doors after four decades on May 9, as the organization prepares for the new facility’s opening.