It wasn’t lions, tigers and bears but rather alpacas, miniature ponies and plenty of dogs at the 10th annual garden party for the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard Monday evening.

Andrea Ross, an avid supporter of the shelter, offered her home to host the benefit. In the backyard overlooking the Chappy Ferry landing, guests bid on silent and live auction items, sampled food from an array of Island restaurants and cooed at every four-legged guest that passed by.

David Hannon and Lizzie Kass brought two of the evening’s most popular (and photographed) guests — a pair of fuzzy alpacas named Lexington and Leonardo, who were adorned in mulitcolored necklaces. “They knew they were coming to Edgartown so they had to dress up,” Ms. Kass said with a laugh. Island Alpaca has brought at least one animal guest to the garden party every year; farm owner Barbara Ronchetti donates to the shelter.

But it wasn’t only the alpacas that were popular. Tony Smalls, a miniature pony, also posed for pictures and showed off one of his many talents. When handed a dollar bill Mr. Smalls would gently take it in his mouth and toss it into a bucket as donations for the shelter. He made his rounds around the party under the care of Annie Parsons and Tom Shelby, a dog trainer.

In addition to his private business, Mr. Shelby volunteers his time to train every dog adopted from the shelter. “I want to make sure the adoption sticks,” Mr. Shelby said. “It makes me feel good. My entire life revolves around dogs and it is the best life in the world.”

A lesson with Mr. Shelby was up for bid as part of the silent auction. Event chairman Alice Mattison said 90 silent action items had been generously donated by businesses and individuals around the Island. Trip Barnes served as the auctioneer for the 10 live auction items including a Westminster Dog Show package for two and Red Sox tickets for four.

“Any game except versus the Yankees,” Mrs. Mattison quipped. Paintings by a variety of Island artists covered one of the silent auction tables — many bidders competed for a piece by Island artist Margot Datz called Daggett House. “The piece is of this house which makes it kind of fun,” event volunteer Nancy Brooks said. “It was donated by John Chirgwin who owned this house when it was the Daggett House Inn.”

Guests also could show their support for the shelter by buying a brick to honor a special pet or person to be displayed in a memorial walkway at the shelter. “A lot of the bricks in front of the shelter come from previous garden parties,” event volunteer Cathy Bettencourt said. “One hundred per cent of the money made here tonight goes directly to the shelter.”

The shelter is funded entirely by grants, sponsor donations and fundraising events like the garden party. Ms. Brooks expressed her joy at seeing the community come together to support the shelter at a historic Island home.

“It’s gorgeous, really well attended and you can’t beat the view,” she said.

For more information on the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard and ways to get involved visit the shelter website.