Pet-loving celebrities turn out for the North Shore Animal League’s 4th Annual DogCatemy Celebrity Gala

By Helena Sung
Updated November 06, 2009 09:39 PM

It was a night where even the pets got to dress up: On the green carpet of artificial grass at the North Shore Animal League’s 4th Annual DogCatemy Celebrity Gala, Martha Stewart’s French bulldogs Francesca and Sharkey arrived decked out in black and white striped T-shirts alongside Mom.

“We love attending events like this to raise money for a good cause,” Stewart told guests at the New York City fund-raiser and pet awards show, modeled after Hollywood’s glitzy Academy Awards and held in the airy dining room at Cipriani, a chic Italian restaurant on Wall Street.

“It’s a lot of fun,” radio personality Howard Stern told “It’s a great event.” Stern escorted his wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern, a longtime animal lover and spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League (NSAL), the largest no-kill animal shelter in the world. But where was Bianca, their 8-year-old bulldog? “She’s at home, and her full name is Bianca Romijn Stamos O’Connell,” Stern joked.

There was tennis champ Monica Seles, actor Richard Belzer, fashion designer John Bartlett, and Henry Krieger, the Grammy award-winning composer of Dreamgirls, who brought his dog Freddie. Actress Diane Neal (who played Casey Novak on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) attended with her husband and their two pooches, named Rabbi Winnie Rosenbaum and Father Fitzgerald. “We rescued Winnie when she was 9 months old,” Neal told “She only weighed one pound.” Winnie, a poodle, now weighs 12 pounds.

Geraldo Rivera, who adopted a dog from the NSAL, was the master of ceremonies for the event. “Celebrities love the limelight,” he announced. “But tonight, let’s step aside and give the attention to our pets.”

After screening several short films starring cats and dogs, nominees for “Best Pawformance” and “Best Tail Waggin’ Comedy” were announced – Oscars-style – with winners receiving a Crystal Collar award. Robin Quivers, news anchor on The Howard Stern Show, received an award for “Best Reel Life Tale” for a touching film about her aging 19-year-old cat Kelly. “For those of you who’ve never experienced the love of a cat, you’re really missing out,” she told the crowd. Needless to say, much cheering – and barking – followed!