When Wanda and Mark Shefts’ beloved black labs, Onyx and Breezy, died within weeks of each other in 2004, the Shefts were heartbroken, as anyone with a companion animal would be. But unlike most, they had the financial means to set up an animal rescue foundation in their four-footed friends’ honor, the Onyx & Breezy Foundation.
To date, the charitable foundation has saved thousands of animals by making donations to animal rescue organizations and even individuals. Donations from O&B are often in kind (and to individuals are always in kind), so that the benefit flows directly to the animals – dogs, cats, even horses and rabbits. No one associated with the foundation draws a salary, so 100 percent of donations to the foundation go to animal welfare. SAG-AFTRA co-president Ken Howard and stuntwoman Linda Howard are on the organization’s board.
Said Wanda Shefts, “We do anything that needs to be done for the animals.”
The foundation has held fundraisers online and on the East coast, where the founders live, but is now holding one in Los Angeles for the first time. The event is sponsored by FreeHand Dog Food company (owned by Ryan Kavanaugh, Britta Kavanaugh, Jim Wiatt and Michael Buble), FreeHand Dog Food, Les Compagnons, Omega Water and Patron Liquer.
The fundraiser boasts a start-studded honorary host committee: Kathy Bates, George Clooney, Lee DeWyze and Jonna Walsh DeWyze, Laurie Burrows Grad and Peter Grad, Allison Janney, Dominic Scott Kay, Krista Levitan and Steven Levitan, Greg Louganis, Lorraine Sheinberg and Sid Sheinberg, Charlize Theron and Betty White.
The “Saving Tails” event will be held the evening of April 13 in the Hollywood Hills at the home of James Costa. Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning songwriter Diane Warren and celebrity photographer Christopher Ameruoso, are being honored. Leslie Odom, Jr. and Lee DeWyze will be performing.
More information and tickets at $250/$150 are available at www.onyxandbreezy.org/savingtails.
The Foundation provides assistance in a variety of ways: funding of equipment for medical facilities, spay and neuter programs, disaster relief, puppy mill rescues, food, medicine and supplies, funding of shelters, rescues, foster groups and sanctuaries. The Foundation also provides funds for the pets of individuals where hardship is present.