Doggy Brunch Raises Thousands for Animal Groups 

By Michaila Shahan 

Well-dressed canines (and their humans) donned skirts, pearl necklaces and party hats Sunday for a special brunch fundraiser. 

The pampered pooches and friends gathered at the Barn at Lyon’s Creek Overlook in Dunkirk to eat and socialize as part of Breakfast at Sniffany’s, an event that benefits four local animal shelters. 

The fundraiser began in 2014, when Heather Maertens, owner of Maertens Fine Jewelry, hosted a launch party for a collection of dog-themed jewelry and donated a percentage of the sales to the Humane Society of Calvert County.  

Maertens says the event took off, growing each year as dog lovers came to have a good time and support local shelters through sponsorships, tickets, raffles, and donations. Now known as Breakfast at Sniffany’s, the fundraiser brunch for people and their pooches marked its eighth year this weekend with a sold-out event. 

“The day consists of a catered brunch, a gourmet doggie treat buffet, a fabulous silent auction filled with local art, jewelry, pottery, gift baskets and trips” said Maertens.  

Sniffany’s provides a full human and canine menu for guests. The Doggie Brunch Menu included Puppy Pancakes, Woofles with Peanut Butter topping, yogurt-frosted Doggo Donuts and Bagels with Puppy Hummus. Baked goods were provided by Chesapeake Barkuterie in Port Republic, which offers “custom creations for posh pups” such as mini barkuterie boards and three-layer peanut butter cakes. Meanwhile, humans got the chance to enjoy a traditional breakfast buffet and cocktails.  

Along with Chesapeake Barkuterie, 18 other sponsors supported Breakfast at Sniffany’s this year. 

“I created the event to show and provide support for the organizations that work tirelessly to help animals in need,” said Maertens. “I don’t have the free time to help with the hands-on aspect of rescue. Sniffany’s is my way of showing these amazing people that they are truly appreciated. Rescue can be emotionally and physically exhausting. These donations can relieve some of the stress and financial burdens at least.”  

Breakfast at Sniffany’s has raised $75,000 which will benefit the Humane Society of Calvert County, Just One More Dachshund Rescue, Animal Relief Fund, and Pets with Disabilities.  

“A lot of the organizations that we support are run by people with the hugest hearts that invest their own money in saving the lives and bettering the lives of animals in need,” said Maertens. ““I have seen rescues pull senior dogs and dogs with health issues from shelters that otherwise may not have made it into a forever home…Our donations have allowed shelters to make much needed improvements to their facilities.”