Bark At The Moon: Pet Party for a Cause

Golden retriever in the splash pad

Do you want to party with your pup, while supporting homeless animals in Utah? Look no further than Bark at the Moon, the best dog party in town! Presented by Fetch Pet Insurance, this pup-friendly festival returns to the Gateway on May 18th. Attendees can expect an evening of great food, local vendors, and entertainment for dogs and humans! But what makes this event truly special? All proceeds (including your ticket purchase!) directly support the Humane Society of Utah’s animals and lifesaving programs. Have a fun evening with your dog, and know that you are supporting animals in your community!

Old Favorites and New Activities

Bark at the Moon regulars will recognize some of their familiar favorites including: our local vendor alley full of pup-friendly treats and trinkets, delicious food truck fare, live music by Cry Wolf, and of course, our evening glow-walk! But this year, we are excited to add some fun new elements as well. Visitors and their dogs can participate in enrichment activities, interactive art stations, and a doggy sensory walk! Our behavior staff will be onsite to answer your questions about training and enrichment as you try these fun activities with your pup. But the fun doesn’t stop there – be sure to participate in our opportunity drawing for the chance to win exciting prizes! 

Representatives from the Humane Society of Utah will be at Bark at the Moon to discuss our various programs and services. As you enjoy your evening, you can learn about our community clinic services, pet adoptions, and stellar education programs. The Humane Society of Utah has so much to offer, not only for homeless pets, but also for pet guardians in the community. Who knows? Maybe our programs have something great to offer for you, your pet, or someone important in your life!

Brown and white dog at Bark at the Moon glow-walk

Tickets Will Go Quickly: Get Yours Today!

If this sounds like a howling good time, get your tickets now! Bark at the Moon sold out in 2023, and we are expecting another great turnout this year. Don’t miss out on the fun and festivity! Every ticket purchased directly benefits the Humane Society of Utah’s lifesaving programs, giving homeless pets in our community a second chance. By joining Bark at the Moon, you’re not just treating your dog to a fun night out; you are making a real difference!

Celebrating Compassion: Highlights from HSU’s 2023 Wags to Wishes Gala

The Humane Society of Utah (HSU) was thrilled to host our annual Wags to Wishes Gala on Saturday, November 11th, 2023, at the luxurious Little America Hotel. It was a night of celebration and enchantment, thanks to the incredible support of our presenting sponsor, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. The Gala is the pinnacle of HSU’s fundraising calendar, an evening to celebrate our accomplishments and the incredible compassion of our donors and sponsors.

Embracing Firsts and Celebrating Advocates

From the beginning, the 2023 Gala stood out as a night of ‘firsts.’ Renowned reality star, author, and animal welfare advocate Lala Kent dazzled as the event emcee. She held the audience captive from start to finish with her trademark charm and wit. Moreover, this year’s Gala marked the debut of HSU’s new Executive Director, Alexis Pagoulatos. We are thrilled to begin a new era of leadership under her experienced direction. The Gala was the perfect event to introduce Ms. Pagoulatos to our most esteemed donors, sponsors, and community supporters. 

Amidst this night of glitz and glamour, we took the opportunity to recognize some of our biggest champions for animal welfare. The first annual Charitable Giving Award recognized Mountain America Credit Union for their outstanding support year after year. The first annual Legacy Award honored the late Curtis Lipke, who left a remarkable gift to the Humane Society of Utah after his passing. Both awards are a testament to the compassion and generosity of the community that surrounds us.

Paw-fect Stars on Stage: From Struggle to Stability

What Humane Society of Utah Gala would be complete without the true stars of the show: the animals! A heartwarming doggy runway show featuring HSU alumni, was a highlight of the evening. As these precious pups took to the stage in front of an adoring audience, we shared their touching journeys from adversity to long-lasting companionship. Their tales of transformation are a testament to the impact of our collective efforts. 

Inspired by these stories of hope and resilience, the Gala attendees opened their hearts and their wallets. Generous contributions poured forth during the program, lighting the path for even more stories of success and healing. 

Gratitude for a Record-Breaking Evening

The collective dedication of our staff, volunteers, and attendees culminated in a night to remember. Together, we raised nearly $250,000! This astounding success will empower HSU to help Utah’s homeless pets even more heading into the new year. 

As the curtains closed on this remarkable evening, our hearts swelled with gratitude. To everyone who contributed, attended, and supported our mission: you are the driving force behind our lifesaving work. We eagerly anticipate the years to come and the continuation of our cherished partnerships. We hope you all will join us for another fantastic Gala in 2024 and another opportunity to celebrate our shared devotion to the animals!

Celebrating the Heart and Soul of Our Community: The Humane Society of Utah’s Volunteer Appreciation Party

The Humane Society of Utah (HSU) recently hosted an event to honor our volunteers and foster families. On September 20th, the organization threw a Volunteer Appreciation Party, bringing together a remarkable group of individuals who have selflessly dedicated their time, energy, and love to the cause of animal welfare. It was a night filled with food, live music, awards, and a raffle. It was all made possible through the generosity of local businesses who lent their financial support to cover the costs of this event.

One of the highlights of the evening was the awards ceremony, where dedicated volunteers were recognized and celebrated for their exceptional contributions. It’s a moment that puts into focus the incredible impact each of them has made in the lives of countless animals. Whether it was hours spent cleaning kennels, assisting with adoptions, or providing love and care to the animals, each volunteer’s contribution was valued and acknowledged.

The evening was made even more special with a raffle featuring a wide array of items, all generously donated by local businesses. This not only added a layer of excitement to the event but also served as a touching reminder of the support that the Humane Society of Utah receives from its community.

The heartwarming statistics of the night added a touch of awe to the already emotional atmosphere. In 2022, HSU volunteers collectively dedicated an astounding 20,579 hours of service, an invaluable contribution valued at an estimated $267,527. Additionally, foster families cared for 1,189 sick or needy animals, providing these vulnerable animals with the love and care they needed. These figures highlight the volunteers’ and foster families’ dedication and unwavering commitment, demonstrating that their efforts are a true labor of love.

Special thanks to these local businesses for helping us honor the dedicated volunteers and foster families of the Humane Society of Utah. Bjorn’s Coffee – Sandy, Squatch Pizza, Zoom Room Dog Training – Sandy, Taqueria 27 – Fashion Place, Porcupine Pub & Grille, Squatters, So Cupcake, Sweet Hazel & Co, Painting with a Twist – Murray, Dodo Restaurant, Bohemian Brewery, RedRock Brewery, Quick Quack Car Wash, Tsunami Restaurant & Sushi, Ma and Paws Bakery, Megaplex Theaters, Slackwater Pizzeria – Sandy, and Haron’s Midvale.

Uniting Hearts and Paws: HSU Joins Clear the Shelter

With summer in full swing, an event on the horizon brings together the forces of love, care, and companionship—Clear the Shelters. This annual nationwide pet adoption and donation campaign, presented by NBCUniversal Local, is returning for its ninth consecutive year from August 1 to 31.

A Month of Joy and Compassion: Clear the Shelters

Clear the Shelters isn’t just an event—it’s a movement, a heartfelt initiative that resonates with pet lovers, animal advocates, and communities across the United States and Puerto Rico. NBC and Telemundo-owned and affiliated stations partner with local animal shelters and rescue services to ignite a change for animals in need. Together, they amplify the message of pet adoption, creating awareness and raising funds for animal welfare.

August 26: Clear the Shelter in Utah

Mark your calendars for August 26, from 10 am to 7 pm. The Pet Resource Center in Murray will be buzzing with excitement as HSU invites you to join the movement.

You’ll have the chance to meet animals of all shapes and sizes, each with a unique story waiting to be shared.​ Adoption fees will be waived for all cats, kittens, and bunnies. Various dogs will have “name your own price” adoption fees. When you Adopt from the Humane Society​ of Utah, you’ll help create space in the shelter for other animals in need.​ You know you’re getting an animal who has been properly assessed and cared for. Your pet has been microchipped, spayed/neutered, and vaccinated. ​Plus, ​H​SU offers training advice and educational information to support pet families for the life of their newly adopted pets.

Whether you’re an experienced pet owner or taking your first step into pet ownership, you’ll find guidance, support, and a wealth of resources to help you make the right choice at the Humane Society of Utah! 

Unveiling Unforgettable Moments: HSU’s Exclusive Members-Only Reception

HSU Members

The Humane Society Of Utah hosted our first-ever Members-only reception, welcoming an inaugural group of members to this new annual event. Our members gathered in the auditorium to meet with HSU Directors, enjoy a spread of donated local hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and learn more about the programs supported by their generous donations. Our staff saw instantly that we were surrounded by passionate supporters with various backgrounds and experiences but a shared love for animals. 

The evening included a clinic tour hosted by our Medical Director, Dr. Timna Fischbein. Members looked inside the clinic, where over 140,000 vaccines and over 10,500 spay/neuter surgeries are administered annually, providing a low-cost option for pet guardians in the community. HSU Member Riley Alexander expressed the importance of these services, saying, “Animals are a vital part of many families, some with means and some without. But those without means do not love their animals any less. Having an organization that helps those with fewer means keep their beloved animals is a wonderful pursuit.”

HSU Members were also treated to a tour of the Education Department and even interacted with some of our favorite coworkers: the education animals! Attendees met Snoop Hoggy Hog the hedgehog, Sasha the rabbit, Milton and Nellie the Ferrets, and Matilda and Carolina the rats, to name a few. Our education program offers a look at some of the more unique animals that we see come through HSU. When asked what he learned during the reception, Member David Swift responded: “I learned that chinchillas bathe in volcanic dust. It was the cutest thing to see one roll and flip around in the dust.” Haley Kroepfl, the HSU Education Manager, shared her expertise about our education program and the importance of teaching our animal welfare values to the next generation. HSU Member David Swift puts it perfectly: “Education is the key to getting animals treated better.”

The member reception was an excellent opportunity to make in-person connections with the donors who do so much to support our programs and operations. Donors like you are vital to HSU; our funding comes almost exclusively from community grants, sponsorships, and individual donors. The excellent care and resources we can provide for animals in need would not be possible without the caring individuals who choose to support us.

Dog-Friendly Event at Gateway to Benefit Humane Society of Utah

Silver lab jumps in water fountain at Bark at the Moon event.

Contact: Guinn Shuster

Email: [email protected]

Cell: 801-638-4685


News Release


Salt Lake City, Utah, May  20, 2023 — Bark at the Moon, presented by Subaru, returns to the Gateway to raise funds for the Humane Society of Utah. Tickets are available for the event online at or at the Gateway Mall on Sat., May 20, 2023. The Humane Society of Utah invites pet lovers to participate in its dog-friendly event — the funds raised at Bark at the Moon are more important than ever! 

Brian Friedman, Subaru’s Retailer Marketing Manager, said, “Subaru and our Retailers believe in being a positive force in the communities in which we live and work, not just with donations, but with actions that set an example for others to follow. Animals are near and dear to our hearts at Subaru, as well as our customers. Partnering with HSU allows us to help find loving homes for as many of them as possible through this sponsorship, events like BAM, as well as adoption events held at our stores here in Utah throughout the year. Loving pets is part of our DNA at Subaru and that is why when you visit the majority of our stores, you will find Dog Parks onsite, treats on the counters and in some cases adopted animals who have become part of the Team!”

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children and can be purchased online at All proceeds will go directly to the Humane Society of Utah to support its mission of providing shelter, care, and adoption services for homeless animals. The event takes place on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Registration includes fun-filled dog activities, live music, food trucks and drinks, an array of vendor booths, and a night glow walk. 

“We are grateful for the support of the community members and Subaru! After record numbers of dogs being surrendered to our shelter this year, we need their support now more than ever,” said Guinnevere Shuster, Director of Marketing and Communications at Humane Society of Utah. “This event will help us continue to provide the best possible care for the animals in our shelter and find them loving homes.”

Suggested Tweet: Join @utahhumane and other pet lovers for Bark at the Moon on May 20 at The Gateway. Bring your furry friends along too! All proceeds raised from this event go towards the animals in their care. 

Photos/b-roll from Bark at the Moon 2022 for media use are available here.


About the Humane Society of Utah

The Humane Society of Utah is dedicated to the elimination of pain, fear, and suffering in all animals. Since 1960, the Utah Humane Society has been sheltering homeless animals, fighting cruelty and neglect, and creating an atmosphere of respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals. As the largest private nonprofit animal resource center in the state, the Humane Society Society welcomes any companion animal that can legally be admitted. We work hard to ensure that every healthy and treatable pet that enters the facility will be placed into a loving home. The Humane Society of Utah is a local, independent 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization that does not receive any state or government funding and is not a branch of any national organization. It is funded by the contributions of individuals, businesses, and foundations. Read more online at

4242 South 300 West Murray, UT 84107 / 801-261-2919 / / @utahhumane 

Subaru Presents Bark at the Moon

Black dog plays in fountain at Bark at the Moon event.

Join us on Saturday, May 20th, from 5–9 pm for Bark at the Moon, a dog-friendly event to raise funds to support the lifesaving programs at HSU. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids and include admission to the festival. Dogs must be six months of age or older, up to date on vaccinations, and socialized with other dogs and people.

“This is a fun community event to raise money for our homeless companion animals,” said Kaya Nielsen, HSU event manager. “We’re excited to return to The Gateway this year and grateful to the participating businesses for their support that allows us to bring people and pets together.”

Bark at the Moon will feature over 30 local vendors, food trucks, craft beer, live music, a splash zone for the dogs, a doggy food truck, Instagram-worthy photo opportunities, and more. At 9 pm, pets and people can participate in a glow walk around The Gateway. 

As a local private nonprofit, the Humane Society of Utah relies solely on donations and small fees for some services; we do not receive state or federal funding and are not a branch of any national organization. However, we are grateful for our sponsors like Subaru and community supporters like you! To purchase your tickets to Bark at the Moon, click here.

All Adoption Fees Waived Thanks to Mountain America Credit Union


News Release

All Adoption Fees Waived Thanks to Mountain America Credit Union

Murray – Utah, Nov. 13, 2022 – Mountain America Credit Union and the Humane Society of Utah (HSU) have teamed up to present the ‘Fall in Love Adoption Special’ the week before Thanksgiving for the fifth year. As part of this special, Mountain America will cover the cost of all animals’ adoption fees from Monday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Nov. 18.

Mountain America and HSU created the ‘Fall in Love Adoption Special’ in 2018 to find homes for as many pets as possible. Since then, this event has helped more than 500 pets find homes. This year, the event is particularly critical because HSU began experiencing a slowdown in adoptions alongside the dramatic increase in intake. 

Juli Ulvestad, HSU’s Pet Resource Center Director, explained, “Our data shows that the housing crisis has affected potential adopters and owners since early 2021, but now it’s reached a boiling point. Coupled with the increase in rent rates, families have shared that they can no longer afford extra costs for adoption fees and food, let alone medical care or the monthly pet fee required by many rental facilities.”

Housing any pet longer than usual puts a strain on the animal, HSU’s resources, and the number of new pets the nonprofit organization can bring in. This event can ease some of the financial burdens for adopters and help countless pets find homes during the holiday while allowing additional homeless pets to be welcomed at the Humane Society of Utah to receive veterinary care and safe shelter.

“Mountain America is pleased to continue to help the Humane Society of Utah with their lifesaving mission through our ‘Fall in Love’ adoption event,” said Sharon Cook, chief marketing officer at Mountain America Credit Union. “By waiving adoption fees, we help remove financial barriers that help bring pets and people together and clear the shelter to create more room for other homeless pets.”

During the Fall in Love Adoption Event, animals will be adopted on a first-come, first-served basis. Appointments are not necessary. To qualify for the waived adoption fee, interested adopters must adopt a pet during the designated time frame from our Pet Resource Center located at 4242 S 300 W in Murray, Utah, between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. All adoptions are pending approval through the regular adoption process.

Adoption fees do not cover the cost of care for shelter animals, and as a local, private nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization, HSU appreciates donations of any kind.

Photos for media use can be downloaded here.    

Suggested Tweet: Come #FallinLove @utahhumane 11/14-11/18 during their Fall in Love adoption special. All adoption fees are generously covered by @mountainamerica. (insert your link) 

Wags to Wishes Gala 2022 a Pawsome Success!

On Saturday, September 24th, 2022, the Humane Society of Utah celebrated 62 years of helping animals during its annual Wags to Wishes Gala, sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. This three-hour-long event was held for the first time at the Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House at the University of Utah. It included a lounge filled with playful pups for guests to interact with, a wine and beer bar, live piano music, an interactive bingo game, and silent and live items. The event was also held virtually, so additional guests could enjoy the evening streaming in their homes. 

During the event, Utah Humane’s Board President, Craig Cook, was presented with the Humane Heroes Award for his 50 years of dedication and service to the animals in Utah. Craig Cook joined the board of the Humane Society of Utah in 1972 and made a personal commitment to improving the lives of Utah’s most vulnerable pets. Craig started on HSU’s official council fresh out of law school. In his early years on the board, he oversaw and won many critical cases for Utah’s homeless animals, even at the supreme court level. 

Craig Cook’s impact on the organization includes playing a crucial role in opening the first low-cost spay and neuter clinic in the Mountain West, and expanding the organization in the Salt Lake Valley, and recently into St. George.  And in 2021, he made it possible for HSU to provide donation-based medical care to the Ute Reservation in the northeast, where access to veterinary care is minimal, and thousands of Tribe members are seeking support for their beloved pets.

The show also featured the progress of HSU’s Parvo Ward, built this year with the funds raised from last year’s gala and through a grant provided by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. Our new parvo ward allows us to isolate and adequately treat puppies on-site who arrive at our shelter with the deadly canine parvovirus. And it enables Utah Humane to protect other dogs in our facility while reducing the overall risk of community transmission. The parvo ward is now located at our Pet Resource Center in Murray. 

Karin Duncker, HSU’s Development Director, is delighted with the response to this year’s gala. “This is the first in-person gala we’ve had since 2019, and it was wonderful to reconnect face to face with our sponsors, donors, event volunteers, and community members. We raised over $145,000 at the event and are so grateful to our supporters for their generous support.” 

HSU’s 2022 Wags to Wishes fundraising goal was to raise $160,000 for vulnerable and homeless animals. If you were unable to attend, you can still help us reach our goal by making a tax-deductible donation at:


View our gala gallery on Facebook

Animal Shelters Across Utah are Full: Humane Society of Utah Offers Half-Off Adoption Fees to Encourage Adoptions. 

Contact: Guinn Shuster
Email: [email protected]                              

June 15, 2022

Murray — Utah, June 15, 2022 — Humane Society of Utah (HSU) offers half off all adoption fees through June 30, during the Summer of Love adoption special. Each pet for adoption has been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and medically and behaviorally assessed.

“Shelters across the state are at or over capacity.”, said HSU Associate Director of Marketing and Communications Guinnevere Shuster. “Adoptions are slowing down, and animals are waiting longer than usual to get adopted. By making adoption affordable for everyone we hope to move homeless pets into loving homes.”

There are additional benefits of adopting from the Humane Society of Utah:

  • HSU offers training advice from certified dog trainers and educational information to support pet families for the animal’s life span
  • 10% off preventative veterinary care services at our Murray location clinic for the pet’s life
  • Speak or email with an expert about any behavior or training concerns
  • By opening your heart and home to a new pet, you will help create space in the shelter for other homeless companion animals in need

Adoptable pets come with a free wellness exam from one of our Participating Veterinary Clinics within 30 days of adoption

HSU works with numerous local and rural animal shelters throughout the state of Utah to transfer in at-risk animals. Year-to-date, HSU has transferred in 290 cats and dogs from Utah animal shelters to provide relief from overcrowding and help these homeless pets find homes.

“Many of our shelter partners here in Utah have reached out to the transfer department pleading for assistance with overcrowding,” said HSU Transfer Department Supervisor Spenser Betenson. “For example, in the first six days of June, Uintah County Animal Shelter brought in 54 animals, which is a massive number for a small rural shelter.”

By hosting this adoption special, the Humane Society of Utah hopes to encourage adoptions and make room for the increasing number of homeless pets.