Couple donates $250K to Humane Society SV

Photo Courtesy of the Marcuses
Judy and George Marcus attend the recent Fur Ball with their canine companions. 

Los Altos Hills resident Judy Marcus had four dates for the recent Fur Ball gala supporting Humane Society Silicon Valley: husband George and their three dogs, Zoey, Peppy and Coco.

The Marcuses, who adopted all three dogs from the Humane Society, donated $250,000 to the nonprofit organization at April’s Fur Ball fundraiser in Atherton. That’s the most anyone has ever donated at the Fur Ball, which generated a record $2.6 million in its 14th year. The money supports its “Paint a Better Future” campaign aimed at preventing unwanted births, treating at-risk pets, finding homes for animals and educating owners.

The couple has donated nearly $1 million to Humane Society Silicon Valley over the years, and Judy serves on its advisory board.

Judy said she adopted her first shelter dog five years ago from the agency – a blond, 10-pound Chihuahua named Zoey. She said the organization found Zoey on the streets, and shortly after adopting her, the couple adopted two more dogs: Peppy, a black and white Lhasa poodle, and Coco, a black poodle mix.

“I find that their behavior is really just great compared to (purebred dogs),” she said. “Some purebreds are temperamental.”

Judy said she always had dogs growing up in San Francisco, but it wasn’t until after she married George that she owned her own dog, an Airedale terrier. The couple even relocated, because the space they were living in at the time did not allow pets.

Following their Airedale terrier, the Marcuses continued to care for several different purebred dogs, including giant schnauzers and a Welsh terrier named Sniffles, or Sniff for short. But after getting involved with Humane Society Silicon Valley, Judy decided that non-purebred dogs were the better choice following the death of her Welsh terrier.

Judy said one of her favorite things about owning three dogs is seeing them after a long day out.

“There’s nothing better than coming home and having a friendly little face anxious to see you,” she said. “It makes you so happy.”

Fourteen years ago, Judy helped organize the inaugural Fur Ball to raise money for construction of the organization’s headquarters in Milpitas. She has continued to attend the Fur Ball every year with her three adopted dogs. For the past three years, the ball has taken place in a large tent on Menlo Circus Club’s polo field and has hosted up to 600 guests, she said.

Each year the event features a different theme, such as superhero or nursery rhyme, and Judy dresses her dogs up to match. Dogs that attend the event may join owners at their tables, and attendants are available to take dogs out for walks or bathroom breaks.

For more information on Humane Society Silicon Valley and its pet adoption program, visit



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