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Monday, December 11th 7:00—11:00pm
Cipriani 42nd Street
110 E. 42nd Street
New York , NY 10065
United States

2023 Top Dog Gala

Schwarzman Animal Medical Center Top Dog Gala 2023

2023 Top Dog Gala

On Monday, December 11th, the Stephen & Christine Schwarzman Animal Medical Center hosted its annual Top Dog Gala, at Cipriani 42nd Street. This year’s event honored Trustee Emilia Saint-Amand Krimendahl with the Top Dog award in recognition of her longstanding commitment to AMC through her service on the Board, her generosity to the Gift of Love capital campaign, and her passion for the health and well-being of animals. The Gala also honored K-9 Yoda, the hero U.S. Border Patrol dog, and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Caring Canines. The event raised over $2 million to support AMC’s non-profit mission. Proceeds from Top Dog enable AMC to pursue our mission of providing collaborative and world-class care to animals and leading the advancement of veterinary medicine through innovative clinical research and education. Funds raised also support our Compassionate Programs and Charitable Funds, which provide free and subsidized care for pets whose owners may not be able to afford such care. In 2022, AMC provided over $4.4 million in free or subsidized care through these programs.

Canine Honorees

About U.S. Border Patrol PK9 Yoda, BORTAC

Yoda is a Belgian Malinois and was born in the Netherlands in August 2019. He began his career as a Patrol K9 with the U.S. Border Patrol in May of 2022. He is assigned to the Detroit Sector, Special Operations Detachment, Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC). Yoda’s main skillset is location and apprehension of criminals. Yoda specializes in high-risk situations that his BORTAC team responds to such as warrant services, conveyance assaults, hostage operations, tactical tracking, air operations, and more. Yoda has served on countless high-risk operations alongside his BORTAC team. To date, these operations have yielded seizures of a significant amount of illicit narcotics, over $850,000 in U.S. currency, 56 firearms, and 38 arrests. While most operations take place in our BORTAC area of responsibility, Yoda and his BORTAC team can deploy nationwide to aid other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. Yoda has deployed to numerous nationally significant events. Most noteworthy was the manhunt for Danelo Cavalcante. In September 2023, Yoda and his BORTAC team deployed to Chester County, PA. The mission was to locate and apprehend Danelo Cavalcante. Cavalcante was illegally present in the U.S. and wanted in his home country of Brazil for a 2017 double homicide. Additionally, Cavalcante was currently serving a life sentence in Chester County jail for the 2021 murder of his girlfriend Deborah Brandao. Cavalcante escaped from Chester County jail on August 31, 2023, thus beginning a 14-day manhunt throughout rural Chester County. The terrain and weather added to the difficulty of this operation. The woods were extremely thick, overgrown with thorns, vines, and many large fallen dead trees. The dense terrain forced Operators to crawl through some sections of the woods and traverse small rivers to continue movement. The weather was unrelenting. With temperatures hovering around the mid 90’s, extremely high humidity, and lack of cloud cover produced some of the worst conditions for working dogs. On September 13th, 2023, with help from many other agencies, Yoda and his BORTAC team successfully located and apprehended Cavalcante. Yoda was able to physically apprehend the subject by biting him. This prevented his escape and his ability to use the stolen rifle he possessed.

About Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Caring Canines

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s (MSKCC) dedicated therapy dogs and handlers in the Caring Canines Program have been lifting the spirits of MSK patients, caregivers, and staff since 2007. All volunteers, both human and animal, are registered with recognized pet therapy organizations and all canines are fully vaccinated and vetted. Handlers and canines receive in-house training and continuing education. Some facts about MSK’s Caring Canines: There are 45 registered teams; MSK teams cover a large variety of breed types and sizes; MSK’s Caring Canine teams visit both inpatient and outpatient sites; MSK’s Caring Canines currently visit patients on 12 inpatient floors and at nine ambulatory sites, including sites located in NYC, Long Island, Westchester, and New Jersey; MSK’s Caring Canines make thousands of patient visits each year; MSK’s Caring Canines are available for ‘Special Requests’ from patients; and when in-person visits are not possible, Caring Canine virtual visits are available. In addition to boosting patients’ spirits, MSK’s Caring Canines participate in a Post-Op Walking program. The goal of the program is to motivate patients to start moving sooner after their surgery leading to faster post-op recovery. In a survey conducted with patients: More than 90 percent of patients have said that MSK’s Caring Canines motivated them to walk that day and more than 90 percent of patients said walking with MSK’s Caring Canines increased their energy level. In addition to delighting MSK’s pediatric patients with in-person visits, MSK’s Caring Canines have produced and starred in an exciting Talent Show Video for the children to enjoy.


Benefit Co-Chairs

Nancy Kissinger
Elaine Langone
Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy
Marianne Mebane
Annette de la Renta

2023 Benefit Committee


Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Emilia Saint-Amand Krimendahl, Stephen and Christine Schwarzman


Mr. and Mrs. William Acquavella, Mr. and Mrs. J. Pepe Fanjul, Dr. Hal and Kimberly Folander, Elaine and Kenneth Langone, Barbara and Robert Liberman, Julia and John Lindsey, Chris McCarthy, Jenny Paulson, Annette de la Renta, Nicole Seligman and Joel Klein, Ann and Andrew Tisch


Tom and Kathy Arrix, Abby and Rick Elbaum, Tina Pendergrast Santi Flaherty, Brooke Garden, Mrs. Robert G. Goelet, Helena and Martin Hoffman, Mel and Terry Karmazin, Dr. Amin J. Khoury, The Honorable and Mrs. Henry A. Kissinger, KodiakCare.org, Sharon and Cary A. Koplin, Edith McBean, Mr. and Mrs. Neil M. McCarthy, Marianne Mebane, Kane and Martin Nussbaum, Puppies Behind Bars, Robert and Harley Raiff, Mrs. Katharine Rayner, Joanne Ronson, Lisa and David T Schiff, Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman


The Baumann Family Foundation, Jeffrey Collé, Ellen and Daniel Crown, Jane and Michael Horvitz, The Arthur Loeb Foundation, Eva, John, Sam, Simon, and Joshua Usdan

Benefit Committee

Mr. and Mrs. Lee Ainslie, Judy Hart Angelo, Lillian Applebaum, Arethusa Farm, Muffie Potter Aston and Dr. Sherrell Aston, Joseph and Christine Augustine, Mary Baroutakis Demetriou, Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation, In memory of Dawn Berkeley, Linda Berley and Robert Fagenson, Brook Berlind, Arlene and Michael Berner, Best Pet Rx, Dixon and Arriana Boardman, Eliza and Alexander Bolen, Susan and Rick Braddock, Emily J. Brill, Brown & Brown of Garden City, Virginia S. Burke, Wendy Carduner, Lisa Carlton-Wilson, Linda and Arthur Carter, Coleman Family Ventures, Diane and Robert Cummings, Dyan and Robert Cutro, Bill and Sara DeHoff, Mrs. Rodman L. Drake, Lisa and Sandy Ehrenkranz, Ariel Elghanayan, Madeline and Thomas Elghanayan, Zoe Elghanayan, Lourdes and Pepe Fanjul, Jr., Maxine and Jim Frank, Gillian Fuller, Laura Garner and Roger Hardon, Sarah Jane and Trevor Gibbons, Phil and Karen Glick, Milly and Arne Glimcher, Pam Goldman, Dorothy Goldstein, Gould Foundation – Luetta and Jay Gould, Greater New York Hospital Association, Antonia and George J. Grumbach, Jr., Agnes Gund, Susan Gutfreund, Mr. and Mrs. Gray Harley, Guy Emile Harley, Sonya and Fred Hauser, Hayden Family Foundation, Michael Heaner and David Michaud, Molly and David Helfet, Heidi Holterbosch and Tom Gimbel, The Huxley Family, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Patricia Kaye, Wendy Lehman Lash and Stephen S. Lash, Joan Lazarus, Anne Lee and Peter Gerard, Jesse Robert and Patricia A. Lovejoy, Dr. Wendy McCulloch, Nancy Meyrich and Richard P. Krasnow, Jimmy Mindling and Diane Reunert, Dianne Dwyer Modestini, Movora, Linda and Russell Munson, One Ten Group, Elizabeth T. Peabody, David P. Pearson, Perkins&Will, Brian and Emilia Pfeifler, PKF O’Connor Davies, PNC, Prince Associates Inc., Robin Rednor and Robert Kennedy, Michael G. Reiff and Tatiana Simonova, Sascha Rockefeller, Jeff Romley Sybil Rosenberg, Shirley Lord Rosenthal, Elizabeth Gore Ross, Daisy Schimmelpfenneg Sandow, SBLM Architects, Sarah and Hank Slack, Beth and Zachary Solomon, Marc S. Solomon, Margaretta Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Tisch, Tishman Speyer, Turner Construction Company, Vanderweil Engineers, Venable LLP, VVA Project & Cost Managers, Catharine K. Warren and Bradley B. Geist, West New York Restoration of CT, Kim White, Deborah Miller Zabel and William D. Zabel, Esq., Gail and Newton Zauder, Roy and Tara Zuckerberg