Actress Lily Tomlin honored at downtown gala - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Actress Lily Tomlin honored at downtown gala

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Actress and comedienne Lily Tomlin was honored for her years of charity work advocating for animals at Saturday's Petco Foundation gala in downtown.

The longtime animal advocate was the guest of honor, but the night belonged to the millions of homeless animals supporters are trying to save.

"It is wonderful to receive this award for both the honor it bestows and for what it implies...a better future for animals," she said.

In front of a crowd of generous animal lovers, comedic icon Lily Tomlin did her best to follow last year's Petco Foundation guest of honor Betty White.

But Saturday was about Tomlin's place in society as a longtime animal advocate.

She's representing "Actors and Others for Animals," one of 8,000 animal welfare groups Petco helps.

"It breaks your heart to think of any humans that are disenfranchised and abused and we can only speak as much as we can for any living creature, and that includes the four-legged ones in our lives."

At the Hope Gala, donors helped add to the $110 million the Petco Foundation has raised since 1999.

Guests raised hands and money during live and silent auctions emceed by News 8's own Dan Cohen and Nichelle Medina.

For Tomlin, she began advocating for animals after learning more than an estimated four million homeless animals are euthanized every year.

When the 5th Annual Hope Gala winded down, Tomlin hoisted her hope award for everyone who helped the life of a homeless animal.

"And bless you all for all you do!"

Petco says its foundation raises $15 million a year for animal groups nationwide. The San Diego-based company also helped raise money for the Performing Animal Welfare Society.

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