Luau to Benefit Local Dog and Cat Rescue

Updated: May 9, 2018

Lumina News file photo Josette Jorgensen, left, and Riyo Burns of the Jacksonville Polynesian Dance Group perform outside Banks Channel Pub and Grille during the Bow Wow Luau and Cat’s Meow on July 28, 2012.

Like many who watch television at home, Trish Arnold reached for her remote control when a commercial came on one evening. However, she stopped when she saw what was on the screen. The commercial featured Sarah McLachlan, and was for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Arnold said that the images of abused dogs and cats are forever ingrained in her mind.

“I was reaching for the remote like I think a lot of people do, because we don’t want to see what really is going on in the world around us. … Then I thought, I just can’t turn a blind eye on these innocent animals,” Arnold said in an interview on Wednesday, June 12. “We all play our part and I thought I could do something about this.”

As a result, Arnold began volunteering with the Humane Society and then Adopt an Angel Animal Rescue, where she eventually founded the annual Bow Wow Luau and Cat’s Meow fundraiser, planned for Saturday, June 22 at Banks Channel Pub and Grille in Wrightsville Beach.

When Arnold decided to start planning a fundraiser to help raise money and awareness for the often disheartening problem of animal abuse and overpopulation, she wanted to make sure it had an emphasis on fun.

“When I created the event, I wanted the focus to be on fun, unlike the sad commercials that we all see about the realities of animal neglect and abuse,” she said.

The luau will feature the island sounds of steel drums, light reggae and even Polynesian fire dancing. It is completed with guests in festive attire. Silent auction items include golf rounds, Wrightsville Beach hotel stays, jewelry, doggie daycare packages and more.

Each attendee will be able to meet with one of the veterinarians from the Wrightsville Beach VCA Animal Hospital for pet advice, as well as receive a special doggie goodie bag to take home.

Arnold said that with generous donations, sponsorships and volunteers, 100 percent of the proceeds from Bow Wow Luau and Cat’s Meow will go to Adopt an Angel Rescue. 

“Just the community’s support is phenomenal. Everybody’s coming together to help with this and I pay out of pocket as well, because I want every penny to go to these animals,” she said.

Arnold said Adopt an Angel has rescued and found homes for more than 7,000 dogs and cats in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties since opening in 2004.  

“Sadly, in the same three-county area, more than 55,000 dogs and cats have been euthanized because of pet overpopulation and nationally … the numbers are in the millions each year,” she said.

This year’s fourth Bow Wow Luau and Cat’s Meow will benefit Adopt An Angel’s new low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Brunswick County, opening this summer to help combat these population numbers, Arnold said. 

“Out of the three counties, Brunswick is also one with an overpopulation problem … and spaying and neutering is a proven way to reduce that overpopulation,” she said.

Anyone interested in sponsorship or volunteer opportunities should email her at

Tickets for the Bow Wow Luau and Cat’s Meow are $25 in advance or $35 at the door, and may be purchased online or by calling 910-515-3684.

For more about this event or Adopt An Angel Rescue, visit


Gentry, Shannon Rae. "Luau to benefit local dog and cat rescue." Lumina News, 19 June 2013, Accessed 9 May 2018.

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