Black Tie & Tails at Home

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020

Our first-ever virtual gala kicks off at 7 p.m.

Presented by

Since 1998, Black Tie & Tails has been one of Pittsburgh’s most unique, exciting and lifesaving events. And, just as our daily lives have transformed over the past few months, this year’s Black Tie & Tails is going to look a little different as we present our first-ever virtual gala!

Although day-to-day operations at Animal Friends are not what we are used to, one thing that has not changed is our commitment to providing life-changing and lifesaving programs, services and resources to the pets and people of our community who need them most.

That’s why your support of this year’s Black Tie & Tails is more critical than ever before!

This year is your chance to do Black Tie & Tails your way, whether you’re planning to tune in by yourself, with family or during a small gathering with close friends – while staying safe, of course. Best of all, your four-legged family members are invited to join the party!

We may not be able to gather together for the Best Gala in the ‘Burgh this year, but we can assure you that you won’t want to miss the heartwarming stories, lively online auctions, special performances and video messages from a few of our celebrity friends and their beloved pets! And, the entire gala is being produced by our friends at LUXE creative, so we know you won’t want to miss a minute of the fun.

We simply can’t wait to show you what we have in store for Black Tie & Tails …

Ticket Packages

Patron Ticket | $500

Includes a video link, special recognition during our virtual gala and a deluxe Party Box* packed full of treats and plenty of items to help you and your pets enjoy Black Tie & Tails at home.

VIP Ticket | $100

Includes a video link and a special Party Box* with a variety of goodies, giveaways from Animal Friends and our sponsors and something special for your four-legged family members.

Watch Ticket | $50

Includes a video link to watch Black Tie & Tails and entry into an exclusive raffle. Hosting a watch party? We can provide you with invitations and more to help your family and friends join the fun!

*If you are unable to pick up your Party Box, contact to make different arrangements.

Shelter in Place Challenge

We can all agree that our animal companions are part of the family. But, for many pet owners in our region, filling their pets’ food bowls and giving them the basic health and wellness care they need presents a challenge – especially during times of financial uncertainty.

At Animal Friends, keeping pets in their homes with loving families is one of our top priorities. By providing affordable and accessible resources like our Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter and Vaccine Clinics, Animal Friends for Life and Compassionate Communities and even our Retail Re-Sale Store, we are helping to ensure that pet owners in our community never have to make the difficult decision to surrender their beloved pets.

But, to ensure that these pet retention resources can continue to support our neighbors who are struggling the most, we need you. As a thank you for your donation, you will receive a photo and story of an animal who has been supported by your gift.

Help us keep the pets of our region in loving homes where they belong.

Please give generously.

Feeling Lucky?

Take a chance – or two or three – on tail-wagging prizes in our annual Black Tie & Tails Raffle!

First prize: $3,000
Second prize: $2,000
Third prize: $1,000

Tickets are only $10. Winners will be pulled on Monday, Oct. 5 and need not be present.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Questions? Contact Tricia at or 412.847.7073.


Online Auction

You’re sure to find something special in our Online Auction – whether it’s a package that you can enjoy now or something to look forward to once things return to normal! Since our in-person auction is put on hold for this year, our Online Auction will be better than ever. From a private Italian cooking class to memorable vacations, fabulous fashion items, unbelievable sports memorabilia or endless treats to spoil your beloved pet, you’re sure to find the perfect cure for your cabin fever.

Don’t miss out, bid high and bid often beginning Saturday, Sept. 26.

Special Guests

Our Honorary Chair

Gisele Barreto Fetterman is an access and equity advocate, a hugger and the Second Lady of Pennsylvania. She is the co-founder of For Good PGH, a nonprofit that works to advocate inclusion and inspire kindness. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact the Pittsburgh community, Animal Friends sought ways to increase distribution through our Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank. We were thrilled to form a new partnership with Gisele through For Good PGH to coordinate weekly pet food distributions, resulting in thousands of pounds of pet food finding its way into the hands of our pet-owning neighbors who were struggling to make ends meet during the most difficult times.

Gisele is also the founder of Freestore 15104, which aims to eradicate food and clothing insecurity by distributing donated goods to nearly 1,600 clients each month. The Freestore has inspired nine spinoff locations and the birth of 412 Food Rescue – a community wide effort co-founded by Gisele to end hunger and reduce food waste by working to provide un-sellable but perfectly good food to neighbors struggling with food insecurity. To date, 412 Food Rescue has rescued more than 10 million pounds of food.

Gisele was born in Brazil and emigrated as a child to the US, living as an undocumented immigrant for over a decade. Her work has been featured on the TODAY Show, CNN, NPR and more. Gisele is a Forty under 40 honoree, a TEDx Speaker, a Jefferson Awards recipient and mother to three children and Levi – her beloved dog.

We are honored to have Gisele join us for Black Tie & Tails as our 2020 Honorary Chair. Together, we look forward to supporting our communities by providing life-changing resources to pets and people in need.

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Our Guest Emcees

Heather Abraham and David Highfield are co-hosts of “Pittsburgh Today Live” on KDKA-TV. Heather is a Pittsburgh native and award winning journalist who has been nominated for several Emmy awards. She spent four years reporting for News 12 Brooklyn in New York City before returning to her hometown and joining KDKA in 2010. When she is not reporting or anchoring, Heather loves spending time with her family including her husband, two daughters, a son and two dogs.

David is an 11-time Emmy award-winning host, anchor and reporter who got his start at KDKA as a writer in 1991. Over the years, he has covered countless news events, has been awarded two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and was inducted into the Ford City Hall of Fame and the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame. David lives in Lawrenceville and, while he does not have pets of his own, is a big animal lover and always looks forward to visits from Animal Friends’ four-legged residents on PTL.

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Host Committee

Event Steering Committee Co-Chairs: Gina Carlos*, Beth Henry*, Sarah McKean*
Animal Friends’ President & CEO: Kathleen Beaver

Alisa Angelo
Marleen Ashton*
Leslie and Scott Baker
Kathleen and Kent Beaver
Mary Ann Bogosta*
Dorothy Boyer*
John Boyer
Kirk Burkley and Penny Zacharias
Erin and Matt Butkovic
Erin Byrne
Debbie* and Jimmy Campbell
Gina* and John Carlos
Marlene Cornelius
Andrea Curtis and Doug Kredel
Jeff* and Wendy Dutkovic
William and Susan Follansbee
Bob Fragasso*
Jeff and Kelly Gleason
Patricia Hasselbusch
Beth* and Dave Henry
Elizabeth* and John Klamut
Sheryl Levine-Everett*
Howard* and Rosemary Loevner
Margery Loevner
Claire LoPresti
Bonnie* and Chuck Loya
Kevin McCluskey
Sarah McKean* and PJ Maloney
Jim and Gail Mezynski
Sandra Miller
Mark and Catherine Moir
Matthew Monsour*
Jeff and Jenn Mulrooney
Sarah Nass
Robert and Maryanne Purdy
Michelle* and Steven Race
Dan and Sherry Ringer
Cindy* and Andy Russell
Heather Sheehan
Linda Shooer and Ted Osial
Doug* and Sarah Shriber
Charlotte* and David Stephenson
Ward and Julie Strang
Marcy Tenaglia and Brian Gates
Jessie VanSwearingen
John Weinstein*
Cris Winter* and Ron Ramsey
Stephen* and Mary Zappala

*Animal Friends’ Board of Directors

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Thank You to Our Sponsors …


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