Who benefited from the quarantine? Dogs and cats. We never left them alone. And we emptied the shelters, so that we would not be alone. The Southampton Animal Shelter stepped up to that challenge. They held outdoor meet and greets and drive-by pick-ups. Then, they brought in more animals.
Quarantine was also good for the shelter dogs in Jean and Martin Shafiroff’s family. There were up to five, doted upon in the house, depending on which daughter and boyfriend were in residence.
So, supporting the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation is a true labor of love for Jean and Marty. She took the Shelter’s annual fundraiser from a small cocktail party to a full out gala. He sits on the board. She sits on the Honorary Board and will once again chair this year’s Unconditional Love Gala (August 21).
Jean also serves as their Ambassador. So, Friday night, to kick off this hopeful Hamptons season, she hosted a cocktail party at the Capri Hotel’s Naia restaurant for 150 Shelter supporters. She even helped Bill McCuddy auction off items – many donated by friend Kim Renk of Sequin. It was a bookend party to last fall’s smaller, SASF COVID sensitive soiree at Naia.
US Representative and Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn Maloney, New York Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, Gallery owner Yubal Marquez Fleites, Henry Buhl, Missy Hargraves, Beau Hulse, Libbie Mugrabi, Shelter Executive Director Joseph Sprague and Director of Adoptions Katie McEntee were among the partygoers. As was Rosita Shafiroff, Jean and Marty’s beloved rescue dog.
Rosita is becoming quite the social animal: feted and photographed. And, thanks to the past year’s plein-air culture, accustomed to accompanying Mommy. “When she saw me dressed up, Rosita was all ready to go,” Jean laughed, “by the door waiting.” It’s been a gradual transition into society for the newest Shafiroff. First, dinners outside at Sant Ambroeus in Southampton. Then, whisked to winter in Palm Beach, which took her social life to the next level. Jean – and Marty – took her everywhere. Waiters doted on her at Swifty’s POOL. She held court at cocktail parties Is her own page on patrickmcmullan.com next?
It wasn’t always thus. Hers is a true Cinderella story. Daughter Elizabeth Shafiroff – who has her own Global Strays non-profit to support animal welfare in Latin American – found her. “Liz always visits animal shelters wherever she goes,” Jean told us. Vacationing in Anguilla, their shelter head told her about Rosita: the dog imprisoned on a tiny concrete slab, always trying to climb the fence to escape. She was the only surviving animal from a hurricane, left hungry and caged. “Every day, the shelter head fed her and prayed that someone would save her.” It wasn’t easy, because Rosita did, in fact, belong to someone. But, Elizabeth convinced the owner to let her bring the abused dog home.
Rosita went from starving in a small, steamy, concrete jail, to sleeping in Jean Shafiroff’s bed, flying private and eating restaurant take-out. “She’s such a good dog,” Jean gushes of Rosita’s equanimity. Of course she is! Like so many appreciative immigrants, she’s living the American Dream.
For more information: southamptonanimalshelter.com.