Bark After Dark Gala


Date: September 23, 2023

Time: Social Hour begins at 5:00pm with our program beginning at 7pm. 

Location: Downtown Des Moines Marriott. 700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA  50309

Join us for Bailing Out Benji’s  Bark After Dark Gala on September 23, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa. 

We are honored to invite our friends, supporters and volunteers back to Des Moines for a night of networking and celebration of all that has been accomplished in the fight to end the cruel puppy mill industry. 

Reserve your tickets now to Bailing Out Benji’s largest event of the year and support our efforts to continue researching and advocating against puppy mills. Enjoy an evening full of music, great food, guest speakers, a silent auction and a room full of advocates who share your passion for helping animals. 


Individual Ticket


*For adults and children ages 10 and up. Includes access to the gala, appetizers, food, dessert and drink tickets.

If you have any financial barriers that will prohibit you from attending the gala please contact Mindi Callison: . 


Sponsorship and Table Reservations


If you are interested in investing in a future with no more puppy mills, this is the spot to do it! A variety of sponsorship levels are available that offer an array of benefits to your family and/or business. 

You can view our sponsorship opportunities here

Hall of Puppy Mill Survivors

As a part of our social hour and the entirety of the Bark After Dark Gala, Bailing Out Benji will be showcasing puppy mill survivors from across the country. These dogs are the reasons why we do what we do and we want to honor their stories and share them with the world. 

All canvas prints will be displayed throughout the evening and can be picked up at the end of the night or will be shipped to the family within 2 weeks after the evening of the gala. 

Slideshow: Your survivor’s photo and story will be featured in our slideshow during our gala. 


8X10 Custom photo canvas display


8×20 Custom photo canvas display


11×14 Custom photo canvas display


16×20 Custom photo canvas display


 Silent Auction

This year, our silent auction will be virtual, while also having additional items that will be available in-person only.

If you are interested in donating items to our silent auction, please email Jalaine Crees:


Special Guests 



Preston Moore is a trusted animal policy leader in Iowa. Since joining the Humane Society of the United States in 2018, he has worked closely with Iowa lawmakers to enact commercial breeder regulations, strong animal cruelty codes, animal-friendly business rules and dozens of local animal protection and public safety ordinances. He is also frequently consulted by law enforcement and prosecutors regarding animal cruelty crimes throughout the state. Moore has over a decade of nonprofit leadership experience, including several years with a regional humane society where he established and grew many community programs that assisted thousands of animals and their pets—he also helped lead that organization through the largest animal neglect case in Iowa’s history.

Tom Colvin, the CEO of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, has been instrumental in the state of Iowa for animal protection work since 1974. He began his work as a Certified Veterinary Technician in Waterloo, Iowa. He went onto become the director of the Black Hawk Humane Society (now called Cedar Bend).
Tom moved to Des Moines in 1993 to become the shelter director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL). In 1995, he was appointed the ARL’s Executive Director, a position he has held since. Tom led the initiative to build a new 43,000 square foot shelter, which was completed in October 2008.
Tom has served as the President of the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies since 1981 and also currently serves on the Iowa State University External Stakeholders Advisory Group, on the board of the Better Business Bureau, and previously on the Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine and Iowa Wildlife Center. He is also a member of The Association of Animal Welfare Advancement (formerly Society of Animal Welfare Administrators) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which promotes ethical fundraising practices. He has also been a wildlife rehabilitator and has served on Iowa deer taskforce committees.
Tom has worked tirelessly on legislation to strengthen Iowa’s laws for animal protection, including extensive work to address animal cruelty and puppy mills in Iowa. He has received awards for his efforts in legislation, including his work to enact the animal shelter mandatory spay/neuter law in 1992 and the felony animal abuse law in 2000. Recent successes in legislation have resulted in prohibiting giving pets as prizes, felony animal fighting laws, and in 2010, the passing of the Puppy Mill Bill.
Under Tom’s leadership and direction, the Animal Rescue of Iowa has repeatedly been honored with local “Best Non-Profit” awards, has been named a “Top-Rated Non-Profit” by Great NonProfits since 2013, and in 2015 was recognized nationally as the “Shelter of the Year”.

 Mindi Callison is the Founder and Executive Director of Bailing Out Benji, a national nonprofit organization that focuses on building a grassroots effort to create change for puppy mill dogs.

At just 21 years of age, Mindi founded this organization after discovering a local puppy-selling store in her town. She began ongoing protests at pet stores in her hometown of Ames, Iowa and that inspired advocates from all over the country to do the same. In just a few short years, after being featured in a documentary and several books, Mindi’s Iowa-based organization has expanded to include volunteer teams across the country. This nimble, innovative organization is entirely dedicated to ending the inhumane breeding practices of dogs and cats in commercial facilities. They work to research and reveal the links between puppy mills across the country and the pet stores and websites where the puppies are sold.

This research has been crucial in passing many local and state bills across the country which regulate the sales of puppies, kittens and rabbits in stores. While most national organizations are headquartered on the coasts or in large cities, Bailing Out Benji’s Iowa roots allow them to serve as a much needed and powerful voice for animals across the Midwest, which is a strong hold for animal agriculture and dog breeding.


Eleanor the golden retriever who was rescued from Daniel Gingerich’s puppy mill. 


2023 Bark After Dark Sponsors

Friend of Benji Sponsor


Proud Supporter