December 13, 2023 Press Release
Source: AMC

Schwarzman Animal Medical Center Honors Emilia Saint-Amand Krimendahl at Annual Top Dog Gala

Attendees at AMC's 2023 Top Dog Gala

Schwarzman Animal Medical Center Honors Emilia Saint-Amand Krimendahl at Annual Top Dog Gala

Also Recognized: U.S. Border Patrol Hero K-9 Yoda and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Caring Canines

Event Raises Over $2 Million

Press Release

(New York, NY – December 15, 2023) The Animal Medical Center celebrated philanthropist Emilia Saint-Amand Krimendahl at its annual Top Dog Gala in recognition of her longstanding commitment to AMC and service on the Board of Trustees. 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.

The benefit—co-chaired by Nancy Kissinger, Elaine Langone, Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy, Marianne Mebane, and Annette de la Renta—was held on Monday, December 11th at Cipriani 42nd Street. Famed event designer David Monn created an elegant atmosphere to match the style and grace of the event honoree. Nearly 400 guests were in attendance, including: Stephen and Christine Schwarzman, Donna and William Acquavella, Elaine and Kenneth Langone, and Jenny Paulson.

“We are so proud to honor Emilia Saint-Amand Krimendahl as our 2023 Top Dog Honoree,” said Helen M. Irving, RN, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMC. “We are thankful for Emilia’s tremendous support over the years, which will ensure AMC’s legacy and help thousands of pets and their families for years to come.”

“I humbly accept this award with gratitude in my heart,” said Ms. Krimendahl. “Ever since my first visit to the ER many years ago, I have understood why AMC is so special. Not only are they at the pinnacle of veterinary care, with an unwavering commitment to clinical excellence and cutting-edge expertise, but they also offer compassionate care to everyone who walks through the doors. I am truly proud to be a part of an organization that has impacted the lives of countless pets and families for over 100 years and will continue to do so for decades to come.”

“Emilia’s steadfast dedication, visionary guidance, and deeply rooted commitment to AMC have been the foundation upon which our achievements have been built,” said Robert Liberman, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees at AMC.

“We are delighted to celebrate Emilia this evening and also commemorate another remarkable year for AMC,” said Nicole Seligman, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees at AMC. “Our commitment to excellence and patient care has always been and will continue to be the hallmark of our work.”

Photos from the Gala

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About the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center Hospital of New York City

We are the world’s largest veterinary teaching hospital with NYC’s only level 1 trauma center. Our team of 130+ veterinarians work across over 20 specialties to provide world-class medical care, and we are here for pets and their families 24/7. We are proud to have served the people and pets of New York, and beyond, for over 110 years. More at:

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.