Cabaret 4 Canines fundraiser this Saturday!

Happy adopters at VT Dog Rescue in Hinesburg. Saturday is their inaugural Cabaret 4 Canines fundraiser. Courtesy photo
Happy adopters at VT Dog Rescue in Hinesburg. Saturday is their inaugural Cabaret 4 Canines fundraiser. Courtesy photo

Hinesburg’s VT Dog Rescue, a nonprofit organization founded by Brigitte Thompson and operated by a team of dedicated volunteers, works closely with adopters to find just the right fit. They have already transitioned more than 320 dogs from dismal, overpopulated, high-kill shelters into loving homes.

Thompson is proud to announce their inaugural Cabaret 4 Canines fundraiser to happen at the Old Brick Church in Williston Saturday, March 19. Professional talents of Timothy James, Stefanie Capizzi and Christopher Hill join a lineup of song, dance, comedy and talent to bring a rich night of fun entertainment.

Doors open at 6pm for a silent auction and the show starts at 7pm. Tickets are available online at and at the door. Rescue Rockstars have front row seating for $25 and all other seats are $5.

VT Dog Rescue volunteer Margie Dunki-Jacobs said, “We often run out of funds to be more effective, and that is heartbreaking to us, but the joy we experience with the adopters, foster homes and the dogs’ endless kisses greatly outweighs any feelings of discouragement.”

With an overpopulation of dogs in the southern states due to the lack of spaying and neutering, it’s not uncommon to see scared, pregnant dogs living under abandoned homes, running in packs and scavenging for food to stay alive, Dunki-Jacobs said. “Pregnant dogs produce puppies, and we step in to save the dogs and the puppies,” she said.

The dogs who are lucky make it to the shelters, but oftentimes these shelters are in varying states of disrepair with dirt or cement floors, offering these animals little comfort and inadequate protection from the elements, Dunki-Jacobs said. “Loving volunteers do the best they can. We work with the shelters to get these dogs vaccinated, healthy enough to travel and on transports to Vermont as fast as we can.”

Thompson said, “The harsh truth is dogs are not treated humanely in many situations, and without going into detail, being able to offer them human interaction, a soft voice and a soft bed seems to be all they need to be grateful for life.”

Professor in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont Holly-Lynn Busier said, “I am firmly committed to social justice and urge my students to move from the comfortable sidelines into the not-so-comfortable middle where they can bring about real change. It’s one thing to watch videos about animal suffering, and another to actually do something about it.”

UVM student Emmett Cohn said, “Dogs give us unconditional love. Shouldn’t we work to do the same?”

Despite the adversity, rescue dogs are resilient; they forgive, they adapt, and open their hearts to love again, Thompson said. “Watching a timid dog learn to trust is one of the most moving transitions I have witnessed,” she said. “The metamorphosis of their uncertainty blossoming into relaxed confidence brings tears to my eyes, every time.”