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DC Actors Help Animals Find Forever Homes in Adoption Extravaganza

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Attention Broadway Barkers who will be in the DC area on June 8—DC Actors for Animals is hosting the first-ever Beltway Barks! The inaugural event will take place on Saturday, June 8, from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the Friedheim Quad on the beautiful campus of American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The show and presentation of the animals begins at 11:00am.

Beltway Barks will feature dozens of adoptable dogs and cats from DC-area rescues and shelters including Adopt a Boxer Rescue, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, Montgomery County Humane Society, Mutts Matter, Rural Dog Rescue, and the Washington Animal Rescue League. The event will be emceed by Bobby Smith and Michael J. Bobbitt and will feature fabulous performances from some of DC’s most talented theater professionals including Sandy Bainum, Debra Buonaccorsi, Evan Casey, Sherri L. Edelen, Donna Migliaccio, Davis Gestiher, Tracy Olivera, and the “Singular Sensations” from Adventure Theatre’s Musical Theater Center. Food and retail vendors will be on hand, and a raffle will feature autographed items from some of Broadway’s best, as well as gift baskets and merchandise from local retailers.

Beltway Barks was inspired by the annual Broadway Barks adoption event, which will be celebrating its 15th year this July! As Broadway Barks co-founder Bernadette Peters said, “I am thrilled to see the Broadway Barks tradition spread to Washington, DC, with the first-ever Beltway Barks! Many thanks to DC Actors for Animals for hosting this wonderful event! I am so excited to see so many talented actors and dedicated animal lovers come together to help homeless animals. The Beltway Barks event will inform Washingtonians about the plight of the thousands of homeless dogs and cats in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and that will save lives!” The annual Broadway Barks event is a star-studded cat and dog adoption extravaganza benefitting NYC’s homeless animals and the shelters and rescues that care for them. Held in Shubert Alley, in the heart of New York’s theater district, the event features adoptable dogs and cats presented to the audience by Broadway’s biggest celebrities.

Founder Lisa Carrier Baker with emcees Michael Bobbitt and Bobby Smith and the Animal Ambassadors

Founder Lisa Carrier Baker with emcees Michael Bobbitt and Bobby Smith and the Animal Ambassadors

DC Actors for Animals is a new organization founded by Lisa Carrier Baker, a stage performer and adjunct voice professor at American University. Lisa has always loved animals, but an event in July 2007 set her on the path that led her to create DC Actors for Animals and organize the Beltway Barks event. As Lisa recalled, “I was part of a team of animal lovers who traveled to West Virginia to help with an animal cruelty case. Over 100 animals that had been abandoned and forgotten, some near death, were stacked in crates to the ceiling and in dire need of help. I went into that situation a volunteer, but came out an activist.” A few years later, Lisa attended the annual Broadway Barks event in New York and was inspired to gather her friends and colleagues in the DC theater scene to do the same thing for DC animals in need. “I have been amazed,” Lisa said, “by the number of actors I have met who tirelessly volunteer, foster, transport, rescue and adopt animals in need. Being inspired by Broadway Barks, starting Beltway Barks seemed a natural culmination of my two lives: theater and rescue.”

Transportation to the event is available via American University’s shuttle bus from the Tenleytown/AU Metro station. Parking is also available across the street from the university campus. Spread the word about this wonderful event—You never know, there may be a surprise or two that you won’t want to miss!

By Charlene Sloan

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