Animal Medical Center Hosted its 2016 Top Dog Gala

December 13, 2016

Contact Information:
Barbara Ross, Ross Public Relations, bross@rosspr.com, 201-236-1771

The Animal Medical Center (AMC) hosted its annual Top Dog Gala on Tuesday, December 13th at Cipriani-42nd Street, to honor Donna Acquavella with the 2016 Top Dog Award and to celebrate two extraordinary canines. The benefit was co-chaired by Robert Couturier, Nancy Kissinger, Elaine Langone, Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy and Annette de la Renta.

Famed designer David Monn created a fabulous, festive holiday décor, enhanced by his signature, bespoke centerpieces, carefully handcrafted in Bokassa, Capetown South Africa. Over 500 guests attended, including: Dr. Henry Kissinger, Eliza Reed Bolen and Alex Bolen, Adam Lippes, Arianna and Dixon Boardman, Katharine and William Rayner, Barbara and Robert Liberman, Kristy Hinze and Jim Clark, Steven Rales, Jamie Niven, Karen and Richard Lefrak, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer and Eric Zinterhofer, Elaine and Kenneth Langone and Emilia Krimendahl.“We are incredibly proud to honor Donna Acquavella,” said Kathryn Coyne, AMC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Donna’s unwavering commitment to AMC’s mission is demonstrated not only by her dedicated service on the Board of Trustees since 1998, but as a steadfast proponent and generous supporter of excellence in the compassionate care of companion animals.”

AMC presented special tributes to two remarkable canines: U.S. Secret Service K-9 Hurricane – for protecting and serving to the president of the United States, the vice president, their families and visiting dignitaries. In 2015, K-9 Hurricane and his handler, Marshall M., were honored with the Secretary’s Award for Valor by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, in recognition for their efforts to neutralize an individual who had jumped the White House fence in 2014; and U.S. Customs and Border Protection K-9 Jasper – for detecting and preventing foreign animal diseases and harmful plant pests from entering the United States. During his 6-year tenure at JFK International Airport, K-9 Jasper and his handler, Amanda T., were credited for successfully intercepting more than 17,000 seizures. “AMC is privileged to recognize these canines, and to celebrate the unique partnership that exists between all working dogs and their handlers. It is an unbreakable bond built on loyalty and trust that comes from endless hour of training, working and living together,” adds Coyne.

The AMC is dedicated to providing compassionate and collaborative care to animals and to leading the advancement of veterinary medicine through innovative clinical research and education. The 2016 Top Dog Gala is expected to raise more than $1.6 million in support of continuing this mission.

About Donna Acquavella

Donna Acquavella is an esteemed member of Animal Medical Center’s Board of Trustees since 1998. Donna and her family own the Acquavella Galleries, which is distinguished for its expertise in the fields of Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art. The gallery, founded by Donna’s father-in-law, Nicholas Acquavella in the early 1920s, is now a three-generation, family-owned business. For over 90, the gallery has sold major paintings and sculpture to private collectors and institutions worldwide, in addition to presenting museum-quality exhibitions. Donna and her husband, Bill, have long been active philanthropists; they are benefactors at The Morgan Library & Museum, where they have endowed a curatorial position, the Acquavella Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The Acquavellas have started the William Acquavella Heart Valve Center at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center – a leader in the development and evaluation of innovative, less invasive techniques for repairing and replacing damaged pulmonary and heart valves. The Acquavellas hold the distinction of being one of the founding donors to the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. At Columbia University Medical Center, they have established the William and Donna Acquavella Professorship of Ophthalmic Sciences, which supports the research director of the department. Donna also served on the board at her alma mater, Hamilton College, and at the Association in Manhattan for Autistic Children. 

About U.S. Secret Service K-9 Hurricane
K-9 Hurricane, an all-black Belgian Malinois, joined the U.S. Secret Service Emergency Response Team Tactical Canine Unit in November 2012, working faithfully alongside his handler, Uniformed Division Officer-Technician Marshall M. They are on the frontlines of protecting the president of the United States, the vice president, their families and visiting dignitaries, and participated in numerous protective missions to include Presidential Details and Special Events. K-9 Hurricane and Marshall were awarded the Secretary’s Award for Valor by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on November 3, 2015. The award was for their efforts to neutralize an individual who had jumped the White House fence in 2014. Hurricane lives with Marshall, a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service.

About U.S. Customs and Border Protection K-9 Jasper
Agriculture detector K-9 Jasper, a beagle blue tick hound, began his career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at three years of age after being donated by the Columbia County Humane Society in Georgia. Agriculture detector dogs are an essential tool in CBP’s layered enforcement strategy in preventing the introduction of harmful plant pests and foreign animal diseases from entering the United States. K-9 Jasper and his handler, Agriculture Canine Specialist Amanda Tripple, received 12 weeks of intensified training at the National Detector Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia. K-9 Jasper was trained to detect fruits, vegetables, meats, and other prohibited items that may carry animal or plant diseases that could harm U.S. agriculture resources. He was assigned to JFK International Airport where he and his handler proudly served our nation for nearly six years, intercepting 17,167 seizures totaling 23,485 prohibited plant and animal products. Among K-9 Jasper’s most memorable discoveries are rhinoceros skin, bear meat, whale meat, a goat’s head, live turtles, and a plant seizure that changed the regulation regarding the importation of citrus fruit from the Dominican Republic. K-9 Jasper recently retired and is living a life of leisure with Amanda, her husband Dave, and their three cats.

About Animal Medical Center
The Animal Medical Center is dedicated to providing compassionate and collaborative care to animals and to leading the advancement of veterinary medicine through innovative clinical research and education. For more information, visit www.amcny.og.



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