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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 the huge crowd to the 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". 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 Babylon Town Shelter pets (643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon would love to have their plight lit up on a Broadway marquee. "Sweet Pea" in Cage 37 is a delightful, small Pit pup, while "Jeffer­son" in Cage 19 is a super sweet Shepherd/Shiba Inu. Both poster dogs are about 1 year, full grown, size me­dium. Female: "Jasmine" - Rottie mix Cage 32; "Riley"- Foxhound/Saluki Cage 27.

Poster Pets of the Week
Male: "Scooby"- chubby Pit Cage 4; "Willpower"-longhaired Shepherd Cage 3; "Panda"-Border Collie mix Cage 7. Cats: "Mousy"-Mr. Condo in C-9; a beseech­ing Russian Blue type in C-8; kittens galore.r.






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