DALLAS, TX (June 13, 2009) — “Top Hat & Tails,” the annual fundraiser for Paws in the City, a Dallas-based, no-kill shelter for dogs, was held today at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field.
Arthur Benjamin, Vice Chairman and CEO of ATI Enterprises and frequent contributor to the shelter was honored with 2009’s “Man’s Best Friend” award for his commitment to rescuing dogs and finding them loving homes.
Benjamin’s love for animals extends beyond the Dallas Metroplex.
He received national acclaim in 2005 following the Hurricane Katrina disaster when Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a Utah-based shelter, sought assistance for the relocation of animals from the weather-ravaged New Orleans area. An outpouring of humanity for those affected by Hurricane Katrina has come from around the world.
Benjamin’s male teacup poodle, Buddy, became the focal point for donations to No More Homeless Pets in Salt Lake City. Benjamin pledged to adopt a dog left homeless in Katrina’s wake to encourage donors to fund a rescue mission led by No More Homeless Pets in Utah. Arthur made good on the promise adopting another teacup white poodle who, along with Buddy, became known as “BuddyHolly”. Interestingly, Buddy is a trained therapy dog who suffers occasional seizures and Holly is epileptic.
Benjamin, a board member of the no-kill pet adoption coalition, raised more than $15,000 worth of food and monetary offerings to cover the operation that the shelter launched on behalf of the New Orleans rescue. His business colleagues gave generously in memory of his wife Gail, who passed away this year. Buddy was Gail’s therapy dog during her three-year bout with breast cancer.
“If Gail were here, this is something that she would do,” Benjamin said.
A dog lover who has adopted five animals with diseases or other illnesses, Benjamin adopted Buddy from a shelter when he was six months old. He characterized Buddy as the “alpha male” who runs the household all the while smiling. “Who knows where he got that smile?”
Benjamin’s senior position at ATI Enterprises, Inc., provides him with extensive contacts in the business and education worlds that are willing to donate. He said he decided to get involved in Katrina relief and other efforts after seeing news footage of an abandoned pet that was not allowed onto a school bus evacuating New Orleans residents.