Right off the bat, the whimsically creative theme names for the annual Barkitecture event, now in its 12th year, grab attention. For those who aren’t familiar with this wildly popular local gala occurrence, Barkitecture raises money for an extremely important cause: homeless dogs and cats.  The brainchild of the Humane Society of the Northbay, formerly the Vallejo-Benicia Human Society, HSNB is a nonprofit organization that provides shelter for homeless dogs and cats. In addition to taking in lost and abandoned animals, HSNB provides dog licensing and microchipping, and the opportunity for families to adopt a wonderful pet that needs a permanent home.

HSNB has a “no kill” policy for its animals. Based on space availability, financial resources, and/or the opportunity to place animals in temporary foster homes, HSNB accepts as many animals as possible into its adoption program. The program’s success relies on volunteers, donations and the Barkitecture fundraising event.

Barkitecture began in 2003, growing from 145 guests to a sellout event at 500 participants each year. A multi-step process, Barkitecture starts with the building of pet domiciles by volunteers. There’s a competition for the best domiciles in just one category this year: the Builder’s Choice awards. These wonderfully constructed, custom pet habitats, often from recycled or repurposed materials, are on view at the preview party, Friday, April 10, 6:30-9pm at Team Superstores, Vallejo, where guests can vote for their favorite habitat. Tickets for the preview party are $15, kids 10 and under are free. Competition for the coveted domicile awards is taken very seriously.

The big gala event takes place at the Solano County Fairgrounds, McCormick Hall, April 18, and features savory appetizers donated by local restaurants, as well as wine and beer tasting from local wineries and breweries. (Quote here). In addition to the live auction of the domiciles, silent auction items range from premium wines to shopping sprees.

Proceeds go towards general operating funds needed to care for shelter animals, to support the organization’s multifaceted mission: To help foster a public sentiment of humanity and gentleness toward all animals through education and encouragement; promote a lifelong commitment to responsible pet ownership; strive to protect animals from cruelty, neglect, carelessness and ignorance; foster a public sentiment of humanity and gentleness toward all animals through education and encouragement and promote the lifelong commitment of responsible pet ownership.

The Barkitecture gala auction is limited to ages 21 and over.  Tickets, $50 per person, must be purchased in advance, and can be purchased at hsnb.rescuegroups.org. To volunteer, visit the website or email barkvolunteer@hsbn.org.