Love Dogs Returns to MOCAD

PetCalls’ annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser invites pooches to the party


Photographs by brett carson

Detroit Loves Dogs may be a night of literal puppy love that organizer Kimberly Jackson describes as “a Valentine’s Day dance you can bring your dog to,” but underneath the fun is a much bigger purpose.

Jackson, who runs PetCalls, an in-home vet service, created the event after attending a 2016 Christmastime fundraiser for Detroit Dog Rescue. After hearing DDR executive director Kristina Millman-Rinaldi tell stories of the city’s hard-luck stray pooches, Jackson was inspired to take action. “I usually think of myself as a pretty tough cookie, but I started crying, so I went up to her and said, ‘I want to raise money for you.’ ”

Jackson started planning a fundraiser for the next holiday, which happened to be Valentine’s Day. That gave her and her three-person planning committee just six weeks to book a venue, hire a caterer, plan a dance, and try to find sponsors. Despite the challenges, the inaugural event, hosted at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, managed to raise $3,000 for Detroit Dog Rescue.

This year, PetCalls has more planning time, a larger staff, a growing list of sponsors, and a more ambitious goal of $20,000. Everyone is invited to attend — with or without a four-legged friend. The night features a full dinner and open bar for people, as well as treat and water stations for canine companions. Dogs and their dates can dance to a DJ, see a pet psychic, or visit a doggy kissing booth. Human attendees are also free to roam the galleries at MOCAD.

The 2018 Detroit Loves Dogs event is Feb. 14 at MOCAD. For tickets and more information, visit


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