Wagging tails and wet noses will take over the streets of Manhattan this weekend as the ASPCA celebrates 150 years of protecting animals — while also hoping to find homes for a few hundred more.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or most commonly known as the ASPCA, is celebrating its 150th anniversary on April 10 with a day filled with honoring its history as well as celebrating local groups who work hard to protect “some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.”
The ASPCA was founded in New York City by Henry Bergh in 1866 and is now considered to be the first and oldest animal welfare organization in the country.
“In addition to recognizing our enduring mission, the ASPCA’s 150th anniversary honors many New York City groups — including the Animal Care Centers of New York, NYPD, Alliance for NYC’s Animals and various rescue organizations — carrying on Henry Bergh’s vision of a city that values and protects its vulnerable animals,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA president and CEO. “We look forward to seeing many dog and cat lovers, animal advocates and prospective adopters at the NYC Paws Parade and Adoptapalooza events in Manhattan and Brooklyn.”
The day of celebration kicks off at 11 a.m. with the first-ever NYC Paws Parade that will begin at Madison Square Park and head down Broadway to Union Square.
The parade will feature actress and singer Bernadette Peters, who will lead marchers as the grand marshal accompanied by her dogs. It will also include guest pet celebrities Marnie the Dog — who has 1.9 million followers on Instagram — and Pip, a Maltese-Shih Tzu mix pup who was rescued after being tossed out of a car in Staten Island.
Marchers will also include include members from the ASPCA, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Animal Care Centers of NYC, rescue vehicles and more. Also expected to participate are members of the NYPD Mounted and Canine Units, over 75 animal cruelty officer liaisons, FDNY mascots Hot Dog and Siren, and many other four-legged New Yorkers.
At the end of the parade at Union Square, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will host — in partnership with the Petco Foundation — Adoptapalooza which will feature over 300 homeless puppies, kittens, dogs, cats and rabbits — all spayed, neutered and vaccinated. Donations of clean linens and pet toys for shelter animals will also be accepted by Rock & Rawhide.
Adoptions fees during the April 10 event will all be waived and will be covered by Animal Planet.
In the borough just next door, the Mayor’s Alliance and the ASPCA will host Adoptapalooza Brooklyn from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the House of Vans, located at 25 Franklin St.
The Brooklyn event will feature more adoptable pets, food and music and adoption fees will also be waived.
Attendees at Adoptapalooza Brooklyn will also have the chance to meet pet celebrities Marnie the Dog, Mervin the Chihuahua, Chloe Kardoggian and Ella Bean the Dog. A special exhibit will also showcase items from ASPCA history including a horse ambulance and historical photos.
“The Alliance is thrilled to be part of the first-ever NYC Paws Parade. This celebration of the ASPCA’s 150th anniversary will kick off Adoptapalooza, a mega adoption event in Union Square, where hundreds of homeless animals will find new homes,” said Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the ASPCA to ensure the four-legged residents of this city will always have a voice.”