Bernadette Peters Shuts Down Protesters at Broadway Barks Adoption Event

Bernadette Peters didn’t let a handful of protestors stop some pets from finding their forever homes.

On Saturday afternoon, the Broadway star was hosting the 24th annual pet adoption event put on by her charity Broadway Barks in the Theater District when her speech was interrupted by shouts of “animal abuse” from some protestors in the crowd. However, Peters shouted right back at them, saying, “Excuse me! You are stomping on the chances of the animals here from being adopted!” Other attendees also yelled at the megaphone-wielding protesters to “get out” before they were dragged away by security guards. Peters was also joined onstage at the event by other Broadway stars and their adoptable furry friends, such as Sutton Foster, Hugh Jackman, and Billy Crystal.

The activists were apparently there to dispute Broadway Barks’s connection to the Humane Society of New York. There have been a number of recent protests against the Humane Society following accusations that the shelter is “warehousing” animals, or holding them in cages indefinitely while ignoring eligible adoption applications. PETA claims this is a dangerous practice as it, “compromises animals’ safety by leaving them in situations in which they’re clearly unwanted.” However, in an interview, the executive director of the Humane Society of NY, Sandra DeFeo, refuted that claim, adding that the no-kill shelter is still actively adopting animals. She said, “I don’t know what warehousing means. When you are a no-kill shelter it means you are going to keep those animals until you find the right home. And here, we are very, very dedicated to our animals.”

Peters co-founded Broadway Barks with Mary Tyler Moore in 1998 to “promote the adoption of shelter animals.” ASPCA official Gail Buchwald told the New York Post in 2017 that the program has helped place thousands of dogs and cats over the years, which was no easy feat as she explained, “Nineteen years ago, there was a real fear of adopting a shelter animal.” The event has taken place every July since 1999 with many performers from the surrounding Broadway shows and other notable celebrities presenting cats and dogs available for adoption. And in addition to founding this charitable event, Peters has also demonstrated her love for animals by writing a number of children’s books about rescued pit bulls.

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