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A Brief History of Broadway Barks

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

In 1998 the homeless animal problem in New York City was at an all-time high, and Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters wanted to help. Their idea was to promote the adoption of shelter animals in New York City at an annual event that engaged the public and the Broadway community. The idea was a hit, and Broadway Barks was born!


That first Broadway Barks event helped find permanent loving homes for many of New York City’s homeless animals, and it also brought the city’s shelters and rescue organizations together toward a common goal. Today, more than two decades later, Broadway Barks has grown and evolved into much more than the annual adoption event! All year long, Broadway Barks encourages communication and champions a spirit of community among animal rescues and municipal shelters throughout the Northeastern United States. And now Broadway Barks-inspired adoption events are happening in other cities, too!


Bob was set to be euthanized back in 2007 due to a knee injury. He would become Bernadette Peters very first direct pull from animal control. With Broadway Barks, Bernadette got him proper medical attention and found him a home. He passed away in 2018, but lived a complete life of love thanks to Broadway Barks. Since then, Bernadette and her team have pulled countless animals from the kill list.

All of our volunteers also donate their time to other rescue organizations, so we keep current on the issues and challenges facing the animal-rescue community. We also help in other ways—for instance, our volunteers respond to communities hit by natural disasters such as Hurricanes Sandy and Maria, delivering donated food and bedding to families who have lost everything but are still trying to care for their pets. As pet parents ourselves, we believe in the special, healing bond between humans and animals so we partnered with 1Love4Animals on the Braille Tails project, which produces children’s books about animals in print braille and provides them, free of charge, to schools for the blind throughout the United States.


On BroadwayBarks.com we provide a wide range of educational articles related to the plight of homeless animals. Over the last decade we have covered topics such as pet identification, spaying/neutering, fostering, the human/animal bond, disaster preparedness, and much more. We also use our significant social media presence to spread the word about these important topics and to share the good things we see happening, too. We work with our affiliates throughout the year to raise awareness about animal adoption, fostering, and volunteering. And leading up to the big annual adoption event, we help our affiliates promote their adoptable animals and get the word out to Broadway fans and animal lovers alike about adoptable animals in need.


Of course, we couldn’t do any of these things without support from the Broadway community and YOU! Help us to find permanent loving homes for as many animals as possible. Giving needy animals a home will make the holiday season much more special than buying another toy or outfit ever could. As we look toward 2020 and beyond, we plan on continuing our annual adoption event and educational efforts, and we hope to continue expanding our outreach efforts. We won’t stop until every animal has a home. Will you help us help them?


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