Tails wagging at animal fundraiser in Nevada City
Susan Wallace’s love for animals is obvious and inspiring, said friends who gathered Sunday at her home tour and fundraiser for animal charity Sammie’s Friends.
Though Wallace and her friends had ordered enough food for 80 people, they began to run out of munchies an hour into the event.
“This is a fabulous cause for animals,” said Cindy Mackey, a real estate agent and animal shelter volunteer sipping wine on Wallace’s newly rebuilt front porch.
“Sammie’s Friends brings healing to so many animals. It’s heartwarming.”
The charity was founded by Wallace’s friend Cheryl Wicks to provide medical care to shelter animals, and many supporters flocked to Wallace’s home on the 400 block of Nevada Street in Nevada City to celebrate it.
Remodeling of Wallace’s spacious, charming Victorian home was completed eight months ago. It was reconstructed from scratch after it was burned to the ground during an attack on Wallace’s life in 2005. The house was a beautiful, 160 year-old Victorian. The new home’s floorplan is almost exactly the same as the old one.
Wallace lost two of her dogs, Molly and Scooter, in the fire. Wallace’s attacker was sent to prison for life, and Wallace has gone on to raise awareness and monetary support for abandoned pets, a cause that has always been close to her heart.
“It’s important to me,” Wallace said. “It’s very meaningful to me.”
While she was in the hospital recovering from life-threatening knife wounds, she constantly asked her friends if they were taking care of her remaining two dogs. She also insisted they volunteer at the shelter in her absence.
“It was something I needed to focus on to get through things,” she said.
Before her attack, Wallace took treats to the shelter for all the dogs every week for six years, she said.
Animals can’t speak up for themselves, so they need people to stand up for them, she said.
Wallace’s eyes filled with tears periodically as she spoke about her house.
“I get really emotional when I’m here,” she said.
She rents the home out and lives in a remote area off of Ridge Road, where there’s plenty of room for her five dogs. Since the fire, another of Wallace’s dogs died, but she rescued four more from the shelter.
She does not know if she will sell the Nevada Street home – worth about $800,000, she said ” or if she will one day move back into it.
Wallace’s friends, family, acquaintances, neighbors and supporters milled about the sunny home, gushing over the wood floors, large kitchen and wrap-around porch.
More importantly, they bid on donated items ” including spa treatments, handmade jewelry and wine ” to raise money for abandoned animals’ medical care.
Thank you for being here,” Wallace said to countless guests, receiving a steady
stream of hugs and squeezes.
To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@the union.com or call 477-4236.
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