When potential new agents visit Jenny Pruitt’s Buckhead office, one associate in particular makes a memorable first impression: Toby, the resident Goldendoodle.
“That dog helps us recruit! Agents will come in and interview with us and they fall in love with Toby,” said Pruitt, CEO and founder of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, which employs more than 430 agents working out of four area offices. “He comes right in the conference room and sits right down by them or puts his head in their lap. He doesn’t know them, but he loves everybody.
Different agents take Toby home each night, she said, adding, “It’s a comfort dog for the office.”
Pruitt will be saluted as the 2018 Anne Cox Chambers Humane Heroine at the Atlanta Humane Society’s third annual Bow Wow Brunch, planned for 12:30 p.m. April 15 at Flourish, 3143 Maple Dr NE in Buckhead. Event co-chairs are Lisa and Paul Brown and Cindy and Bill Voyles.
“To know that the first honoree was Anne Cox Chambers, and then Ginny Milner and then Cindy Voyles, I’m traveling in good company,” Pruitt said. Chambers, a longtime supporter of the Atlanta Humane Society, and for whom the organization’s Alpharetta adoption center is named, is a principal owner of Cox Media Group, which operates The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Pruitt and her husband Bob, who have two daughters and seven grandchildren, have long shared their lives with four-legged family members.
“Twenty-one years ago, I went through the valley of cancer,” said Pruitt, whose pet at the time helped her endure two rounds of chemotherapy and 37 radiation treatments. “It was just so precious to have that little dog by my side all the time. I don’t think I could gotten through that valley of cancer if I’d not had that pet beside me.”
Pruitt’s current canine companion is a 16-year-old Shih Tzu named Molly. (They’re shown in the photograph above).
“They love you no matter what,” she said. “You come home, you’re exhausted. They have their little tails wagging. It is true unconditional love.”
The Bow Wow Brunch, with an “English garden party” theme this year, will feature silent and live auctions and adorable puppies ready for adoption. Sponsored by the Petco Foundation, it is the Atlanta Humane Society’s biggest annual fundraiser. This year’s fundraiser will support the launch of a Cruelty Investigation Division to serve animals suffering from cruelty and neglect. The organization serves more than 30,000 animals and places more than 11,000 in forever homes each year.
“I’m very excited about it,” Pruitt said. “I cannot think of a better organization to be honored by.”
Event tickets start at $250 for adults and $75 for children 18 and younger. For information on registration and sponsorship opportunities, see atlantahumane.org/bowwowbrunch.