Santa Paws is coming to town

By Carol Rolf

The annual Santa Paws Holiday fundraiser is sponsored by Friends of the Animal Village, which is a nonprofit organization that provides supplemental support to Little Rock’s animal shelter, the Little Rock Animal Village. The event is set for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Loft 1023, 1023 W. 7th St. in Little Rock. Tickets are $50 per person in advance and may be purchased at They increase to $60 per person on the day of the event.

Photos by Mike Kemp

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Betsy Robb, volunteer spokesperson. “It’s not a ‘bring your pet’ event but rather a holiday party for adults, although children are welcome. There is no age restriction for children. Parents can use their own judgment as to whether to bring their kids. There will also be an adoptable pet at the event.

“Loft 1023 is a new event venue for us,” she said. “It’s a little bigger than where we have held this event previously, so there should be a lot more room. We will have food and an open bar with beer and wine.”

There will be a wine pull and a silent auction which includes a $500 gift certificate from Cecil’s Jewelry, a gift certificate for Botox from Arkansas Family Dental worth $700, a $1,000 gift certificate from J. Oliver’s, a round of golf for four at Pleasant Valley Country Club worth $500 and glass jewelry from James Hayes worth $175. Additionally, bidders will find artwork from local artists and galleries, gift certificates to local restaurants, jewelry and more.

Robb said Friends of the Animal Village (FAV) accepts donations throughout the year in its efforts to support the Little Rock Animal Village (LRAV) located at 4500 Kramer St. in Little Rock.

“A lot of the money we raise will go toward helping with the LRAV’s heartworm prevention program,” Robb said. “Last year, they spent $10,000 on this program, which helps ensure a long life for pets. The money we raise also goes toward the LRAV’s practice of microchipping all animals in its care.”

Robb said the animal shelter houses 200-plus animals a day. “The kennels stay full every single day of the year,” she said. FAV is dedicated to raising awareness about the Village, increasing adoptions and improving the quality of life of the animals.

The LRAV is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and the community can adopt between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. They offer a learning center for volunteers with regularly scheduled classes to promote animal welfare and public safety. It also has a fully staffed veterinary clinic. For more information on LRAV, call 501.376.3067 or email [email protected].

Robb said Friends of the Animal Village started the Santa Paws event in 2013. “We skipped 2020 and 2021 for obvious reasons (COVID-19),” she said. “This year, we will not have live music but will present holiday music. Santa will also be there for photos at no additional charge.

“We will also present the Best Friend Award,” she said. “That award is to recognize a person who has contributed to the Village during the past year. That person can be a longtime supporter, a volunteer, a rescuer—it’s not limited to any one thing. It’s just to recognize a person who has done a lot for the Village and its mission to save more animal lives.”

Dress code for Santa Paws is relaxed cocktail party. “They can come in formal dress, or in just whatever they are comfortable in. We’re okay with it all,” Robb said, laughing. For more information on Santa Paws, call 501.725.0250 or email [email protected].