It could be considered unusual that a restaurant specializing in steaks is the location of an animal fundraiser. Guests bring their pets to the annual Passion for Paws fundraiser for the Suffolk Humane Society, dressed to the nines for their pet costume contest.Guests bring their pets to the annual Passion for Paws fundraiser for the Suffolk Humane Society, dressed to the nines for their pet costume contest.

But the River Stone Chophouse will be the setting for the Suffolk Humane Society’s Passion for Paws Picnic fundraiser. Planned for Nov. 8, it will be held in the parking lot of the North Suffolk restaurant.

Teresa Mullins, owner of both the River Stone Chophouse and Vintage Tavern, is a huge animal lover and supporter of this organization.

Mullins considers herself somewhat of a foster mom to dogs. “They are our children,” she said. When she can, she helps animals in need by looking for homes for them. “The animals themselves don’t really have voice,” she said. “They tend to be overlooked.”

As a child, Mullins grew up in a house full of animals. Her mother was a nurse, and with the caring spirit that came with that, she frequently took in and cared for injured animals, Mullins said. She recalled a story from her childhood when a stray dog followed her sister home. Her mother eventually convinced her father to let them keep the dog, and shortly thereafter, the dog had eight puppies, she added.

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