UPDATE: Big Dog Ranch event, co-chaired by Lara Trump, pulls out of Mar-a-Lago

4:53 p.m Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 Local
Jeb, a bloodhound, in the new digs at Big Dog Ranch Rescue. Each room in the bunkhouses for adoptions has a themed paint job based on the donor preformances. The rescue group has started opening buildings at its new facility in Loxahatchee Groves on July 15, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

A day after reiterating its intent to hold its 2018 fundraising event at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, Big Dog Ranch Rescue did an about face and pulled its luncheon from the Palm Beach club. Instead, the organization will hold its event at a new facility in Loxahatchee Groves.

The move follows the decision by eight other charities to bail on Mar-a-Lago in the wake of of Trump’s controversial statements following last weekend’s neo-Nazi and white supremacist rallies in Virginia. Big Dog Ranch’s move, though, is surprising given that Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, is a co-chair.

Robin Bernstein, Lara Trump and Peggy Wheeler at the Big Dog Ranch Rescue fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago this past March. (Nick Mele / Capehart)

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Latest news, photos, videos on President Donald Trump

On Thursday, as Cleveland Clinic and the American Cancer Society said they would relocate their galas from Mar-a-Lago, Big Dog Ranch’s leadership stood by its decision to host one of its biggest events of the year at the president’s Palm Beach estate.

That changed Friday.

“In the interest of being better able to focus on our core mission of helping animals and saving dogs, we have decided to hold our next annual luncheon at our new facility in Loxahatchee Groves,” the organization said. “Holding the event at our facility will also give our donors a first-hand look at our world-class dog rescue operation. We look forward to a successful event and the continued community support that has resulted in thousands of dogs each year finding forever homes through the Ranch.”

The “Wine, Women and Shoes” event was scheduled for Mar-a-Lago on March 10, said Robin Friedman, Big Dog Ranch director of development.

» LATEST: Three organizations say they’re moving events from Mar-a-Lago

Lara Trump, who is married to the president’s son Eric, is sharing chairwoman duties with Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Dorothy and Ric Bradshaw at the Big Dog Ranch Rescue fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in March 2014. (Meghan McCarthy / The Palm Beach Post)

They are among other high-profile supporters of Big Dog Ranch, including Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw. Big Dog Ranch Rescue gained national attention in 2013 when country music star Miranda Lambert visited the ranch and adopted a puppy, which she named Bellamy.

» Palm Beach chamber head tells charities ‘have a conscience’ about Mar-a-Lago events

The group recently completed the first phase of its new facility, which features “bunkhouses” where dogs can roam without being kenneled.

» ANALYSIS: Inside philanthropists’ decision to quit Trump, Mar-a-Lago