Talkin' BroadwayV.J.

A Message From Bernadette Peters

Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters at last year's Broadway Barks
"A few years ago, Mary Tyler Moore and I, along with some stage managers and some friends from Annie Get Your Gun, came up with an idea. There were so many shelter animals that needed to be adopted and people didn't understand how wonderful they were. We decided to start an 'Adoptathon' called Broadway Barks in Shubert Alley. All the Broadway community said they would help and now we're in our fourth year. We started with five shelters and this year we have twenty different shelters. We're bringing to the public's attention the fact that these animals are homeless. They're not unadoptable, they're wonderful animals. There are so many animals that are euthanized during the year and it's a big problem in New York. Last year 50,000 cats were turned in and 45,000 were put to death.

We want to get the word out. The city pound is the CACC and a lot of people don't even know what that is. The ASPCA used to be the city pound but not anymore. It's now the Center for Animal Care and Control. Every animal the police bring in is sent to the CACC. People can go there, see the animals and adopt them.

There are also specific breed rescue organizations. If you're looking for a specific breed, such as a maltese, a boxer, or a greyhound, you don't have to go to the pet store for that either. You can go to petfinders.com and enter the breed you're looking for. It will tell you the closest rescue in that area for that breed of dogs. Mary got her golden retriever and her schnauzer that way.

Each shelter brings a few animals to Broadway Barks. The dogs and the cats arrive at 3:30 so people can come early and start looking at them. At 5:30, the Broadway community will be talking about each of the animals and tell you their history. If you're interested in adopting one, they take your name. You don't take the dog home that day. They ask for a reference the same way they would do at any shelter and follow the normal procedure.

Every year we've gotten more successful with adoptions. The shelters were very happy last year. Between half and three quarters of the animals shown were adopted.

These are beautiful, lovely animals. Sometimes people move and they have no place to put their pets, or somebody dies and their companion animal is left behind. When you adopt an animal from a shelter, they are so grateful. They will be at your side forever. You will have such a connection with that animal. They've been through a lot and they know they've been saved so they appreciate you so much. Companion animals are so healing. I think that's why they're here on the earth.

Shubert Alley will be full on Saturday and it's free. Everyone should come down and take a look at these dogs and cats."

A galaxy of stars from the Broadway community will join Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters for this special event, presenting the animals for adoption. Celebrity presenters include Gary Beach and Brad Oscar (The Producers), Gavin Creel, Marc Kudisch, and Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie), John Cullum, Spencer Kayden, and Nancy Opel (Urinetown), Stephen DeRosa, John McMartin and Kerry O'Malley (Into The Woods), Julie Haggerty and Buck Henry (Morning's At Seven), Neil Patrick Harris (Proof), Marilu Henner, Richard Kind, and Rhea Perlman (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife), Shuler Hensley, Andrea Martin, and Patrick Wilson (Oklahoma!), Howard McGillin (Phantom of the Opera), Louise Pitre (Mamma Mia!), Alicia Silverstone (The Graduate) and Phyllis Newman.

BROADWAY BARKS 4! will feature a sampling of potential pets from several New York City animal shelters and adoption agencies, including A Cause for Paws, Animal Haven, ASPCA, BARC Shelter, Bide-A-Wee, Bobbi and the Strays, CACC, City Critters, The Humane Society of New York, Kitty Kind, Long Island Greyhound Rescue, Loving Touch, Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue, Northeastern Boxer, New York Pet-I-Care, PLUTO Rescue, SICAW, Strays from the Heart, and The Tigger Foundation. Representatives from these organizations will be on hand to offer educational information on spaying and neutering.

BROADWAY BARKS 4! will also feature an auction of celebrity-autographed memorabilia. Additional auction merchandise will be available via the Internet by logging on to www.eBay.com and using the key words Broadway Barks. Proceeds from the auction and other donations received during the day will benefit the shelters and organizations attending BROADWAY BARKS 4!

For more information about BROADWAY BARKS 4!, call (212) 840-0770, extension 477, or visit our website (www.officialbroadwaybarks.org).

-- Nancy Rosati

Photo by Trisha Doss

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