Mary Tyler Moore Legacy Lives On With Broadway Barks

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
Mary Tyler Moore’s passing saddened us all, but her love of pets and showbiz lives on. Broadway Barks promotes and funds New York shelter adoptions, and will continue to help pets in need.

While the incredible talents of Mary Tyler Moore (my personal pick for the funniest woman ever) are being lauded by the media and past clips from the late actress’ TV shows are flooding our iPad screens, you should know that there was a lot more to this classy lady than great comedic timing.

Back in 1999, Moore’s love of animals saw her partner with critically acclaimed Broadway actress Bernadette Peters in an animal advocacy project called Broadway Barks. Their goal? To run an annual celebrity-studded event that would promote shelter adoption and help many of New York City’s rescues find permanent homes. By shining a spotlight on the plight of thousands of shelter dogs and cats, Moore aimed to raise not only funds but awareness.

Today, the free event takes place in Shubert Alley – a narrow 300 foot pedestrian alley located in the heart of Broadway. All funds raised through raffles, silent auctions, signed memorabilia and donations go to the participating rescue groups as well as the Picasso Veterinary Fund which provides grants to area shelters to cover extraordinary veterinary costs..

It’s come a long way in 18 years and the event, which according to Associated Press drama writer Mark Kennedy was just a “folding-table affair with a few animals from six shelters” has grown to one that includes celebrities, musical acts, theatre fans, pet owners and adoptable animals from 27 shelters across the city.

With over 200 adoptions taking place during last year’s event, I’m thinking Mary Tyler Moore’s legacy was not just comedy.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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