2008-07-02 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

by Joanne Anderson

"Broadway Barks" is a brilliant rescue idea now in its tenth year. To paraphrase George M. Cohan: "Give my regards to Broadway; remember placing scores of pets..." Saturday July 12th the stars of the Great White Way, led by Berna­dette

Above, Mary Tyler Moore, Angela Lansbury, and Bernadette Peters at the '07 event. Inset, autographed "Broadway Barks" Mer-Dog.
Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, will gather again in Shubert Alley (between W. 44-45th St.) to showcase homeless pets from 25 NYC shelters and organi­zations. Originally Ms. Peters conceived the "Broadway Barks" adopt-a-thon as a way to promote the shelters' hidden, homeless pets, but the annual celebra­tion has blossomed into a major Mayors Alliance for NYC Animals, Inc. event that fosters community and cooperation between the city, mu­nicipal shelters, and non-profit humane groups. As the audiences exit the matinees, a special stage is set up outdoors so the stars can introduce abandoned animal repre­sentatives from various humane societies. Around 5:00 more celebrities ar­rive

and the entertainment begins. Those interested in adopting, can fill out applications, but further screening and reference checking are required. No pet leaves straight from the event.

This year kicks off with an ear­lier special attraction. Bernadette Peters has written a children's book called Broadway Barks (Blue Ap­ple Books; $17.95), featuring her own pound pooch, Kramer (a Bri­ard mix) and a doggy lullaby CD. At 12:30 she'll be autographing copies of her book at the Broad­hurst Theatre on W. 44th. All pro­ceeds will go to "Broadway Barks" animal agencies. Last year, even before the new book, "Broadway Barks" sponsors like the ASPCA and Pedigree, ads in PLAYBILL and auction sales resulted in over $100, 000 to aid shelter animals. A volunteer from Babylon (who wants to remain anonymous) is an integral part of "Broadway Barks'" financial success. Several years ago he came up with the brainstorm to auction off stuffed dogs au­tographed by the casts of each Broadway show. The soft toys are filled with light powder beads, and covered with nylon, perfect for signing with a Sharpie pen. This year alone my creative friend Tom made more than a dozen trips to Manhattan to circulate the toy dogs needing signatures back stage at 22 different Broadway theaters. Then he brought the signed pups home to photograph and make exquisite posters listing the casts for the silent auction in Shubert Alley. Some dogs are dressed for the occasion. The "South Pacific" pooch is sporting a pink lei; the "Phantom" dog a mask; and the "Little Mermaid" Mer-Dog (shown here) has an aquatic fin costume. Tom, the man behind the scenes, will be manning the silent auction ta­bles. First year, he only had 7 "Bark" dogs and they fetched over a thou­sand dollars. In the future, he'd like to see the mini-menagerie featured in PLAYBILL or listed on EBAY to increase donations. It's hard to estimate what the total will be this time, although he knows Tony Awards and popular actors/actresses increase the toy's value. Tom's promos are so tempting: The "Chorus Line" canine is a "Singular Sensation"; the "Mary Poppins" pup "supercalifragilistic". Perhaps you'll be telling the "Grease" dog-"You're the One that I Want".

Poster Pets of the Week
One last word of advice- if you're plan­ning to go to "Broadway Barks"-(212) 840-0770 ext.477 - get there early so you can mingle, bid, and watch the stars show off the pets. Thousands of peo­ple show up, so "tell all the gang at Forty-Second Street, that you will soon be there…."

Speaking of the May­ors Alliance, mark your calendar- This wonder­ful NYC initiative will be bringing their rescue magic to Long Island. I am thrilled to announce the Mayors Alliance will be hosting a "low cost microchipping clinic" in conjunction with "Last Hope's Dog Walk" at Wantagh Park on Sat. Sept.13. All dog and cat owners can have their pets implanted with a HOMEAGAIN chip for only $25 each, registra­tion included. This price represents savings up to $80 per chip. Microchips help so many lost pets find their way home. More details soon. Speaking of creative fundraising ideas- "Dress Down Days" generated a generous donation for Last Hope Animal Rescue. On occasion the kind employees at Data Device Corp. (DDC) in Bo­hemia "pay" for the privilege of wearing jeans to work. Two recent "Dress Down Days" resulted in a windfall of several thousand dollars to Last Hope. Special thanks to Dave Shekailo, inspired by his Last Hope cat "Pete", for putting our local homeless waifs on DDC's wonderful charity calendar. For Adoption: The Oyster Bay Town Shelter pets (677-5784) Miller Pl. Syosset would love to have their plight lit up on a Broadway marquee. To my chagrin, this older, thin, tiny Poodle #501 was found on the Massapequa street where I grew up. Someone took him to the wrong town shelter, but he's been transferred and groomed, yet remains unclaimed and unadopted.

"Sammy" #425 is a small black Shepherd mix, 8 years old, housebroken, and said to be good with kids. His former family moved to an apartment without him. More dogs: a pair of male Shih-tzu mixes #531-532 found at Sunrise Mall. Cats: "Desi" #429-gray tabby; "Priscilla" #399 pretty tabby & white in the lobby; kittens galore.

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