After losses, community members host pet fundraiser

After losses, community members host pet fundraiser

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Local community members will channel their grief from their pets’ recent deaths into a fundraiser for a veterinary clinic and two pet rescues. 

Rylin and Luxxie’s Lavish Fundraiser of Love is named in honor of Ian Morrison’s Shepherd/Bernese Mountain dog Rylin, and Angela Giampolo and Kristina Furia’s Chihuahua Luxxie. The Aug. 9 event will be held at Tavern on Camac and will include a drag show, silent auction, cocktails and an after-party. DJ Carl Michaels and DJ Cleff will spin tunes throughout the night.



Giampolo, whose dog died July 1, heard about Rylin’s July 4 death and reached out to Morrison in solidarity.

“I sent him a Facebook message and basically [said] ‘I know what you’re going through. We don’t know each other that well but I’m giving you a hug and sending you all of the positive energy I have,’” said Giampolo, who works as an attorney and is also PGN’s legal columnist. “And he contacted me right away and he was like, ‘I would love to meet up to process it.’”



The two of them met at Tabu and exchanged stories about their pets. Morrison noted that he became connected with other friends who have lost pets, which inspired him and Giampolo to team up for this fundraiser. The event will raise money for Emancipet Philadelphia, a nonprofit low-cost veterinary clinic, and two rescue organizations — Renee’s Rescues and Peace, Love & Doggie Paws.

Giampolo said Peace, Love & Doggie Paws rescued Luxxie and she noted Emancipet’s impact.

“If there were more organizations like Emancipet providing low-cost veterinary care for low-income individuals, then maybe Luxxie would never have needed to be saved to begin with,” she said. 

Giampolo added that Luxxie was a senior dog found on the side of a road. Owners will often abandon senior pets due to their expensive medical needs, she said.

Morrison said he personally knew the owner of Renee’s Rescues and applauded the organization’s work.

“They will negotiate with puppy mills to rescue the animals that these puppy mills would normally put to sleep once they’re done breeding. And by ‘put to sleep,’ I mean ‘take them out back and shoot them’ because they are no longer of use to them,” Morrison said. “They will do everything in their power to even help those that don’t want to surrender dogs. So if there are dogs that are chained up outside, [Renee] will try to negotiate to at least supply a dog house or provide it with proper food. She is the full-on greatest person I know when it comes to animal rescue.”

Morrison, who performs in drag as Brittany Lynn, and other drag performers will showcase their talents on stage during the fundraiser. During the grand finale, Morrison will perform “He Lives in You” from the stage-musical version of “The Lion King,” which he and Giampolo said will have “surprises” for the audience. 

Morrison noted the motivation behind putting the event together. 

“It’s a little strange to not have [Rylin] here but I think this energy and what I have going on here right now needs to be put toward something, so this is our way of dealing with our sadness and our loss,” he said. 

Giampolo said that while the event began because of their love for their personal pets, “anyone who loves animals or has ever [loved a] pet or companion knows how important these organizations are for all of the animals who don’t necessarily have a forever home.”

“There aren’t any unwanted animals,” Giampolo said. “There are just unfound homes. And these three organizations help in very different capacities to make that a reality.” 

Rylin and Luxxie’s Lavish Fundraiser of Love will be held 6 p.m. Aug. 9 at Tavern on Camac, 243 South Camac St. Visit to purchase tickets.

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