Last month, Broadway Barks co-founder Bernadette Peters teamed with Bill Smith of Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR) and generous donors Dick and Marilyn Faris to save more than 50 animals in New York City. The “Celebrity Rescue Road Trip” was an auction item offered at Wag’n Train, MLAR’s annual fundraiser. The event includes both silent and live auctions that feature truly unique items and experiences for bidders of all kinds. The “Celebrity Rescue Road Trip” with Bernadette Peters provided the opportunity to travel to New York City, meet the Broadway legend, and work with her to rescue animals from Manhattan’s overcrowded Animal Care and Control (ACC). The rescued animals would be transported to MLAR’s facility in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, where they would receive top-notch veterinary care, basic obedience training, socialization, and housing in one of the premier no-kill facilities in the United States. The winning bid of $30,000 belonged to Dick and Marilyn Faris and went toward the veterinary care for the more than 50 animals rescued during the road trip. The rescue road trip team included Broadway Barks and MLAR volunteers who safely transported all the rescued animals from the ACC to MLAR. Volunteers and staff from the ACC also assisted in selecting and processing the animals to prepare them for transport. The rescue road trip highlights the importance of animal adoption and demonstrates how many wonderful pets can be found in shelters in New York City and throughout the United States. The photos below illustrate the highlights of the rescue road trip. Please click on the first photo to begin a slideshow with captions.
Broadway Barks co-founder Bernadette Peters, donor Marilyn Faris (left) and her daughter Tracy Kline (right) meet before entering the kennel to view the animals. New York’s Animal Care and Control takes in more than 30,000 animals every year. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
Bernadette Peters examines paperwork for one of the animals while MLAR’s Director of Finance Ronnie Hittson, Marilyn Faris, and Tracy Kline look on. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
MLAR’s Director of Development Cindy Messerle, Tracy Kline, Marilyn Faris, and MLAR’s Volunteer Coordinator Kate Watts examine the paperwork for a dog housed at the ACC. The ACC carefully evaluates every animal that enters its facility for behavioral and medical issues. The results of those examinations are recorded and provided to potential adopters. Photo Credit: Stevie Boulden
Bernadette Peters, Marilyn Faris, Tracy Kline, Cindy Messerle, and Kate Watts share a laugh while meeting some of the animals available for adoption at the Manhattan ACC. On any given day the ACC has hundreds of animals available for adoption including dogs, cats, and rabbits. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
Bernadette Peters greets a dog waiting to find a home. Many of the animals at the ACC are strays picked up off the streets by police and animal control. Stray animals face many hazards including cars, poisoning, disease, dehydration, and starvation. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
A small dog with a broken leg looks expectantly from her cage. Some of the animals at the ACC are surrendered because their owners cannot afford the necessary veterinary care. They are otherwise healthy animals that will be wonderful pets once they receive the medical care they need. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
Bernadette Peters sings a duet with a small dog at Manhattan’s ACC. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
ACC volunteer Carol Rothschild visits with a young dog eager to play. ACC volunteers like Carol work at the ACC every day to walk the dogs, socialize them, and play with the cats. Their work is integral to the ACC’s mission, and their dedication is immense. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
Francesca, one of the beautiful dogs waiting at ACC to be adopted, seems to plead from her kennel for some personal attention. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
Bernadette Peters visits with Francesca. Many animals found in shelters were family pets and have already been socialized and housetrained. Some even have special training or know some tricks and will adjust to a new home quickly. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
Another ACC resident available for adoption. The shelter can be a loud and chaotic environment that is stressful and frightening. Many animals in the shelter are scared and lonely, and they crave human companionship and the comfort of a home. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
A small pit bull looks on as the rescue road trip group walks through the kennel. Some of the animals that come into the ACC are victims of abuse or neglect. Some are victims of basement breeding operations or dog-fighting rings. These innocent animals are naturally inclined to be peaceful companions and can usually be rehabilitated. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
Bernadette Peters, Marilyn Faris, and Tracy Kline in the Cat Castle, the cat adoption area. The ACC takes in dozens of litters of feral kittens each season. Because of their young age, these kittens can be socialized and made available for adoption. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
Bernadette Peters and Tracy Kline look in on a feline resident of the ACC. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
One of the cats available for adoption at the ACC snuggles in his cubby. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
MLAR Volunteer Coordinator Kate Watts happily displays the information for one of four rabbits rescued during the rescue road trip. Photo Credit: Stevie Boulden
MLAR volunteers begin to load the animals into transport vehicles that will take them to MLAR’s no-kill facility in Chester Springs, PA. Before any animal leaves the ACC they are microchipped and given a rabies vaccination. ACC also requires all animals in their care to be spayed/neutered. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
One of the cats gets loaded into a transport vehicle. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
MLAR Volunteer Coordinator Kate Watts prepares one of the small rescued dogs for transport to MLAR. Most animals coming from a large shelter environment like the ACC are prone to respiratory infections. To combat the spread of respiratory illness, MLAR has special isolation areas where animals can be held in quarantine until they recover. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
Another rescued dog heads into a transport vehicle with a smile on her face. MLAR has grooming facilities to help dogs like this who are dirty and matted due to neglect. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
The small pup with a broken leg makes the transport and will receive expert veterinary care while staying at MLAR, which specializes in caring for animals with orthopedic injuries. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
A young dog is walked out of the ACC to a waiting transport vehicle. MLAR has nearly 60 acres of farmland with huge fenced play areas for dogs of all sizes. Once these animals arrive at MLAR they can expect lots of fresh air and play time. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
After being loaded into a transport vehicle, the young dog looks on quietly as more animals are brought out. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
A beautiful grey pit bull puppy is carried out to a crate in a transport vehicle headed to MLAR. She will be given basic obedience training at MLAR before she is made available for adoption. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
An Australian Cattle Dog sits patiently and alertly in his crate at MLAR after being rescued and transported from New York City. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
A handsome orange cat sits in his new crate at MLAR with his own stuffed bunny as more animals are brought in from the transport vehicles. UPDATE: This wonderful cat was adopted the day after he arrived at MLAR. Happy tails, little guy! Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
A sweet kitten plays after settling into a new crate at MLAR, where she will be socialized until she’s ready for adoption. After being released from quarantine, the cats at MLAR get to live in a colony with an indoor/outdoor cat porch that lets them soak up the sun and watch the birds! Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
The paperwork on all of the animals transferred from the ACC to MLAR during the rescue road trip. Adopting an animal from the ACC not only saves that animal but also saves other animals by providing space in the shelter. Even though more than 50 animals were transferred from the ACC to MLAR during the rescue road trip, even more animals were saved because these spaces were made available at the ACC, thus allowing the ACC to take in more homeless animals. Photo Credit: Stevie Boulden
The rescue road trip volunteers, from top right: MLAR founder Bill Smith, MLAR Director of Finance Ronnie Hittson, Broadway Barks volunteer Charlene Sloan, MLAR donor Marilyn Faris and her daughter Tracy Kline, MLAR Director of Development Cindy Messerle, ACC volunteer Carol Rothschild, Bernadette Peters, MLAR Volunteer Coordinator Kate Watts, MLAR volunteer Jan Birsch, and MLAR Director of Education and Outreach Stevie Boulden. Photo Credit: Matt Liptak
The “Celebrity Rescue Road Trip” with Bernadette Peters resulted in the rescue and transfer of more than 50 dogs, cats, and rabbits from New York City to MLAR’s no-kill facility in Pennsylvania. The generous donation of Dick and Marilyn Faris and the work of the transport volunteers and the ACC staff and volunteers gave those animals a new lease on life. And by transferring those animals out of the ACC, the road trip freed up shelter space, which allowed the ACC to take in more animals. But these rescued animals were the lucky ones. Every year, 6 to 8 million animals enter municipal animal shelters like the ACC, but only half make it out alive. Sadly, many healthy, innocent animals are euthanized each year because no matter how hard the shelters work there are not enough people going to the shelters to adopt. So please remember, if you decide to get a pet, visit your local shelter and make it your own rescue road trip. You’ll save your new pet’s life and the life of another animal that the shelter can take in.
Special thanks to Dick and Marilyn Faris for their generous donation, to the staff and volunteers at the Manhattan ACC, to the staff and volunteers of MLAR, and to Bernadette Peters for making the rescue road trip a tremendous success that saved the lives of many animals in need.
By Charlene Sloan
Enjoy Broadway Barks every day of the year! Our new Broadway Barks 2014 Calendar is now available for purchase!
Filled with photos of some of the celebrities who have participated in Broadway Barks (Michael Cerveris, Peter Gallagher, Sean Hayes, Anjelica Huston, Jeremy Jordan, Angela Lansbury, Nathan Lane, Lea Michele, Mary Tyler Moore, Bebe Neuwirth, Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, Andrew Rannells, and Jo Anne Worley), along with lucky dogs and cats who found new homes at Broadway Barks, this limited-edition calendar is a keepsake that will make you smile every time you look at it. It’s a great gift idea, too, so you’ll probably want to purchase additional copies for family members and friends.
All proceeds from calendar sales will be used by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to help save the lives of NYC’s homeless pets.