April 15, 2011

Illuminating the Bridge for Pets

Brooklyn Bridge Pup Crawl Update

 In New York City, seeing a lot of lights, and a lot of neon is nothing new. A perfect example is Times Square and seeing the neon signs lighting up the sky. We certainly believe in having just” a little” light to illuminate our beloved city, earning us the nickname of “City of Blinding Lights” by U2. I’ve lived here for decades and still look up in wonder of the lights of the city! It’s beautiful!

 This Saturday, another spectacular display of neon colors will be evident on the Brooklyn Bridge as an estimated 500 people and 400 dogs walk across the famed bridge. The dogs will all be wearing LED-lit leashes, in hard-to-miss neon shades of blue, green, orange and pink.  The Second Annual Pup Crawl, in all of glorious colors, will serve to illuminate the issue of homeless pets.

 The success of the Brooklyn Bridge Pup Crawl has spurned other communities to also get in the action of planning the after dark walks. This Saturday, there will be a bi-coastal walk. In addition to the New York City walk, there will be a walk in Upland California. The California dogs and their owners will stroll up and down Euclid Avenue, regarded as one of the most beautiful streets in California. Erie, Pa has a walk scheduled on May 21, where dogs also up for adoption will be on in on the walk.

 It is estimated that more than 6 million pets land in shelters every year. About 3 to 4 million (depending on the figures used) will be euthanized for lack adopters. In its debut year of 2009, the Brooklyn Pup Crawl (www.thepupcrawl.com) raised about $2,500 through registrations from the 300 participants. This year, the Brooklyn Pup Crawl has already raised $6,000 through corporate sponsorships and another $3500 from registrations, which will be split among the five animal groups. Donations are still coming in. Also new this year from New York was a way that shelters all over the country can benefit: Corporate Sponsorship. Alto, the Florida based manufacturer of the Lights-Up Leash, has jumped on board. For every $14.95 leash that gets sold, the shelter the customer designates will get $3. Shelters and rescues register as an “affiliate” and put a link to their website to be eligible for the donation. More than 147 shelters and rescues in 30 states and Puerto Rico are already signed up and are receiving funds.

Joseph Hassan, the creator of the Brooklyn Pup Crawl, should be proud. Shelters are getting much needed funding and people are reminded that the pet homelessness issue is still a big one. “We want to encourage people to act — to donate to their local rescues and shelters and adopt from them if they’re able to have a pet in their lives,” he says.

 And for us New Yorkers, acclaimed pet photographer Marshall Boprey is doing his part to honor all pet owners. He is doing a sweepstakes on facebook. Simply “Like” BOPREY Photography, and you will be eligible to win a free photo pet shoot and free prints of their pet. He’s giving away over $1,750 in prizes. Yea Marshall! To see more of Marshall’s work, see www.boprey.com.


“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”

— Milan Kundera

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