Bernadette Peters, actress, singer and author, is taking a stand for animals by promoting animal rescue in the annual event Broadway Barks. The show was originally created in 1999 as a program promoting animal adoption but grew into an event where rescue groups and shelters come together for the good of animals. Founded by Peters and friend, Mary Tyler Moore, Broadway Barks features performers who present rescued animals up for adoption.
This year Peters will receive the Special Tony Award, the 2012 Isabelle Stevenson Award, for her work with Broadway Barks. The Isabelle Stevenson Award is a special Tony Award that is given to individuals in the theatre community who have volunteered their time to a charitable organization.
For Peters, the animals are what are most important when it comes to Broadway Barks. She started Broadway Barks by going to city shelters and rescuing dogs.
“I’m an actual rescuer,” Peters told the Burlington Free Press. “I actually go into the city shelter and take out the dogs, that’s how I started doing this.”
Peters has two dogs of her own, a pit bull and a Kramer. “I used to cross the street when I saw pit bulls,” said Peters. “And then I learned they are just the most adorable, loving dogs.”
Over the years Broadway Barks has grown and in the 2008 adopt-a-thon it benefited over 25 animal adoption groups. In the future Broadway Barks hopes to focus more attention on education and target areas such as spaying/neutering and responsible pet ownership.
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