Broadway Barks 12 Lights Up NY Skies

Mayor Bloomberg proclaimed Saturday, July 10 “BROADWAY BARKS Day,” and The Empire State Building was illuminated in BARK’s official colors – purple, pink and yellow – to raise awareness for the 12th Annual BROADWAY BARKS adopt-a-thon.With founders Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters returning to host, even the heavens showed respect as predicted thunderstorms never materialized, allowing thousands into Shubert Alley to see their favorite performers, help homeless animals find forever homes and spread BARKS’ message about the importance of spaying and neutering.

“I am so happy that the Broadway community has embraced BROADWAY BARKS and the importance of adopting shelter animals,” said Peters. “It’s a very sweet day for us all, but especially for the animals that find loving homes.”

“We are so happy to be here and to see so many wonderful animals that we know you’ll fall in love with,” said Moore to the crowd in Shubert Alley. “You’ve helped us turn New York into a no-kill community,” said Mary, with Bernadette adding, “In 2002, two of three animals entering shelters were euthanized; in 2010, seven out of 10 will survive!”

Fame, Fur Flew Across Stage
Broadway favorites served as “celebrity dog walkers,” presenting adoptable dogs of all sizes (and a few cats), along with their frequently sad life stories, while showcasing each animal’s winning personality traits to the Shubert Alley crowd.

Presenters included Brooke Adams, Jan Maxwell and Tony Shalhoub (Lend Me A Tenor), George Akram, Karen Olivo and Michael Mastro (West Side Story), Fred Applegate, Robin De Jesús and Veanne Cox (La Cage Aux Folles), Sean Hayes, Katie Finneran, Tony Goldwyn and Brooks Ashmanskas (Promises, Promises), Corbin Bleu (In the Heights), Kevin Chamberlin and Jackie Hoffman (The Addams Family), Alexander Hanson, Erin Davie, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Ramona Mallory, Leigh Ann Larkin and Aaron Lazar(A Little Night Music), Beth Leavel, Judy McLane, John Dossett and Gina Ferrall (Mamma Mia), Ruthie Henshall (Chicago), Cheyenne Jackson (Finian’s Rainbow), Karl Kenzler (Mary Poppins), Chad Kimball(Memphis), Loretta Ables Sayre (South Pacific), Richard Thomas (Race) and Bill Berloni, trainer to Broadway’s four legged stars.

From lovable mixed breeds to purebred Beagles, Great Danes, Huskies, Jack Russell Terriers, Maltese, Siamese Cats and more, BROADWAY BARKS featured a sampling of potential pets from 28 New York City animal shelters and adoption agencies, including AC&C, Adopt A Boxer Rescue, Animal Haven, Anjellicle Cats Rescue, ARF, ASPCA, BARC, Bide-A-Wee, Bobbi & the Strays, Cascade Beagle Rescue, City Critters, Humane Society of New York, Husky House, Kitty Kind, Long Island Greyhound Rescue, Loving Touch and Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue.

Also on hand wereMetropolitan Maltese Rescue, Mid Atlantic Great Dane Rescue, North Shore Animal League, NYC Siamese Rescue, Pet-I-Care, PLUTO, Russell Refuge, SaveKitty Foundation, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Stray from the Heart, Tigger Foundation and Urban Cat League.

Awards Let Dogs Fly & Lift Teen Spirits
Produced by Scott T. Stevens, Patty Saccente and Richard Hester in collaboration with Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, BROADWAY BARKS received $100,000 in generous donations of $50,000 each fromsponsors ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Pedigree® Food for Dogs. This money and other funds raised from a raffle, silent auction, signed memorabilia sales and donations is distributed to the participating shelters and rescue groups and to the Picasso Veterinary Fund, administered by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, which provides grants to shelters and rescue groups to cover extraordinary veterinary costs.

South Carolina’s Debi Boies was on hand to accept the ASPCA Award on behalf of her organization “Pilots N Paws,” an online resource which helps people find pilot volunteers willing to transport rescue, shelter or foster animals.

Liz Keller, CEO of Glen Wild Animal Rescue, received the Pedigree Award for a one-on-one program which pairs shelter dogs with troubled teens in a correctional housing facility.

Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals and one of the beneficiaries of the event, was thrilled with the turnout. “Last year, over 200 animals were adopted, and this year we’re hoping to equal that number,” she said. “Twenty-eight organizations are represented, more than ever, and we have six air conditioned vans on 45th Street, including three with cats.”Also on hand was Julie Bank, the new executive director of Animal Care & Control of New York City, which sees more than 43,000 homeless animals each year. Bank emphasized that her facility and other shelters are great sources for new pets. “It’s a smokin’ deal to get a pet from an animal shelter because they’ve been spayed or neutered and have all their shots,” she said.

Peters, who arrived in Shubert Alley following a dress rehearsal for her new role in A Little Night Music, followed up her hosting duties with another event, a signing of her new children’s book Stella is a Star! in the lobby of the Schoenfeld Theatre. The new book, published by Blue Apple Books, is about Stella, a pup who would rather be a graceful pig ballerina than what she really is: a dog no one seems to like. The book includes a CD with an original song written and performed by Peters. Ms. Peters’ prequel to Stella is a Starentitled Broadway Barks is available at the Broadway Cares Online Store.

Produced by Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, BROADWAY BARKS 12 was sponsored by The ASPCA, Pedigree and The New York Times.


Hats off to the photographers whose work is represented on this page:
Ken Blauvelt, Peter Gibbons, Kathy Warren and Peter James Zielinski
with special thanks to Richard Hester for photographing The Empire State Building.