2011 "Pup Crawl" Raises Funds for Animal Welfare
Photo by Jose J. Martinez
NYC dogs walk across Brooklyn Bridge for rescue organizations.
Hundreds of dogs paraded across New York City's iconic Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, October 22 to “light up the night to feed pets in need,” raising about $8,000 for five different animal welfare non-profit organizations.
The second-ever Pup Crawl hosted about 500 dogs and their owners, who all turned out to support a vision that New Yorker and animal lover Joseph Hassan had in May 2009, when he heard that one million pets in the United States stood to lose their homes to foreclosures.
Inspired – and with a little bit of free time on his hands after having recently left his job in communications – Hassan began to develop a plan with friends to raise awareness for what could become a national crisis. He took the term “to shed light on an issue” literally, and found a company to donate illuminated dog leashes that Pup Crawl participants could outfit their dogs in.
The issue hit close to home for other New Yorkers, as well, who turned out in Lower Manhattan on Saturday afternoon with their furry companions.
“Joseph came to me with this idea and I told him I would do whatever I could to support him. It's a wonderful idea,” said Carelene Mahanna, a pet stylist and owner of three rescued Chihuahuas, named Emmett, Mei-Mei and Kiki-Lu.
The trio attracted their fair share of attention in the lead-up to the walk, as they nestled together in the basket of Mahanna's bright red bicycle. They always wear their tiny, black helmets around town, she says, and get excited to go on bike rides.
The dogs at the crawl ran the gamut in diversity – some rolled along in strollers while others walk across the bridge as the sun set. A handful in dogs had their Halloween costumes on display. And nearly every type of dog, small and big, was represented.
Wilbur, a 6-year-old gray Great Dane weighing in at 200-pounds, made a splash of an appearance when he showed up in the downtown park near the bridge, ready to walk. It wasn't his idea of a great evening, said his owner, Carol Nowak.
“This is for a really good cause,” she explained. “But he is a big chicken and he hates it outside. I drag him and get him out.”
Nowak was among many participants who walked in the 2009 crawl as well, which brought in about $2,500 from 300 participants.
This year's crawl promised to start the launch of a broader movement, Hassan said during his remarks at the event, as he has had interest voiced to him from all parts of the country in hosting similar events.
The money will be donated to three New York City organizations – Bobbi and the Strays, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, and Pets for Life NYC, in addition to the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.,-based Get a Life Pet Rescue and the Los Angeles-based Ace of Hearts rescue organization. All of the organizations rescue, re-home, and/or foster pets in need.
Chelly Campbell, a Manhattan resident, says that she always tries to give to different animal-related causes and organizations, but it is an added plus when she can participate in some sort of benefit with her 4-year-old Cockapoo, Bunny.
“I'm always looking for things to do with her because she is so much a part of my life,” Campbell said. “And this is for a great cause. Nobody should have to get rid of their dog because they can't afford to feed it or take care of it.”
Have you heard about similar fundraisers in your area? Tell us below!
We’ve all grown accustomed to the many fundraisers and charitable events that the pet industry produces for homeless pets. From pet food companies… more ›