Broadway’s Best Help Pets Find Loving Homes at Broadway Barks

The sun shined on Shubert Alley on July 8, 2017, as Broadway stars and fans reveled in their love of all things cute and cuddly at the 19th edition of Broadway Barks, the annual pet adoption event founded by Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters.

Broadway’s brightest stars and biggest pet lovers helped dozens of furry companions find their forever homes at Broadway Barks, this year hosted by Peters and her Mozart in the Jungle co-star Malcolm McDowell.

The event, produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, had a menagerie of adoptable cats and dogs from 27 shelters and area rescue organizations. From 150-pound Great Danes to handbag-sized Chihuahua mixes, every inch of Shubert Alley was filled with adorable adoptables and people eager to meet and take them home.

“There is nothing more rewarding than rescuing an animal, because, as we all know, they rescue you, too,” Tony and Emmy Award winner Bebe Neuwirth told the crowd. Neuwirth provides a home to three adopted cats and is a longtime supporter of Broadway Barks.

As always, the most anticipated part of the afternoon was the parade of dogs and cats led by Broadway and Off-Broadway stars. The performers, with precious pups and cute kittens in tow, introduced the animals and urged attendees to fill out an adoption application.

Broadway Barks is very important to me,” two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole said. “In 2003, I found my dog Chino at this event. I had Chino for 10 incredible years.”

Ebersole, along with 60 fellow actors, shared each animal’s story while sharing adoption stories of their own.

This year’s lineup of celebrity guests also included Christy Altomare, Kate Baldwin, James Barbour, P.J. Benjamin, John Bolton, Steven Booth, Petrina Bromley, Jenn Colella, Corey Cott, Alma Cuervo, Barrett Doss, John Dossett, Susan Dunstan, Christine Ebersole, Jennifer Ehle, Kim Exum, Rebecca Faulkenberry, Kathy Fitzgerald, Jenn Gambatese, Janeane Garofalo, Mandy Gonzalez, Jackie Hoffman, Jayne Houdyshell, Ben Jacoby, Rachel Bay Jones, Andy Karl, Kendra Kassebaum, Chad Kimball, Derek Klena, Beth Leavel, Katrina Lenk, Mimi Lieber, Laurie Metcalf, Abby Mueller, Bebe Neuwirth, Eva Noblezada, Caroline O’Connor, Laura Osnes, Mamie Parris, William Parry, Mary Beth Peil, Eric Petersen, David Hyde Pierce, Condola Rashad, Jelani Remy, Will Roland, Nic Rouleau, Charlie Russell, Caesar Samayoa, Brian Sears, Douglas Sills, Jennifer Simard, Bobby Conte Thornton, Evan Todd, Taylor Trensch, Celia Weston, Betsy Wolfe, Jessica Keenan Wynn and Michael Xavier.

Broadway Barks featured precious purebreds and magnificent mixed breeds from Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniels Rescue Inc., Adopt A Boxer Rescue, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Animal Haven, Anjellicle Cats Rescue, Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition Shelter, Bideawee, Bobbi and the Strays, City Critters, The Humane Society of New York, Husky House, Linda’s Cat Assistance, Little Shelter, Long Island Bulldog Rescue, Loving Touch, Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue, Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League Inc., New York Pet-I-Care, Pet ResQ Inc., P.L.U.T.O. Rescue of Richmond County, SaveKitty Foundation, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, The Tigger Foundation, Urban Cat League and Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue Inc.

In honor of Mary Tyler Moore, the event’s inimitable co-founder who passed away earlier this year, Tony winner Michael Cerveris led a tribute at the start of the event to the legendary actress. Cerveris, backed by Peters and a spirited children’s chorus, sang a moving rendition of “Love is All Around,” the iconic theme song of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

The first Mary Tyler Moore Award was awarded to Sophie Gamand, the award-winning French photographer and animal advocate. Gamand travels the country to photograph shelter animals, helping the pets find permanent homes. The award will be presented annually to an individual or group who has changed the lives of homeless animals in a way that encourages others to do the same.

Broadway Barks was sponsored The New York Times. The event’s producers were Richard Hester, Patty Saccente and Scott T. Stevens.

Photos by Daniel Roberts