Many don't know that Mary Tyler Moore was a true animal advocate. Although Moore was best-known for her role as Mary Richards on the "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," she also inspired others to make a difference for Animals. Throughout her life, Moore rescued numerous animals from shelters, including dogs, cats, horses and even goats. “Animals can give you so much in terms of a warm, full, rich feeling about yourself and your life,” she told The Pet Press. “When you sit down with an animal or just watch it playing off on its own with another animal, you are inspired.

And that stays with you. And that gives you more to go on than you ever had before.”

Mary's first animal rescue attempt

“I was coming home from school, and I saw a man had cornered a dog and was beating him with a stick,” she told The Pet Press, a Los Angeles-based monthly magazine, in 2002. “I yelled at him to stop but he wouldn’t, so I just dropped my schoolbooks and ran and jumped him and beat him around the head and shoulders and kicked him with my feet.” “That was the first time I felt passion and anger at man’s inhumanity,” she continued. “I beat the man up as best I could, but I didn’t undertake any active role until many years later.”

Mary Tyler Moore co-founded Broadway Barks with Bernadette Peters, an annual animal adoption event held in New York City.

Broadway Barks helps many of New York City’s shelter animals find permanent homes by educating New Yorkers about the plight of the thousands of “homeless” dogs and cats there in a fun way through this event held in July. The event takes place in Times Square's famed Shubert Alley, sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

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What is Broadway Barks?

The Broadway Barks Facebook page states, “originally conceived as a program to promote the adoption of shelter animals, Broadway Barks has evolved into an event that has not only focused on the plight of homeless animals but has opened the door of communication and fostered a spirit of community among the number shelters and rescue groups working throughout the city.”

The fate that many animals face in New York City’s crowded animal shelters is bleak.

Broadway Barks strives to educate the public on the importance of spaying and neutering, and responsible pet ownership. Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, spoke of Mary Tyler Moore on Facebook. "Mary’s love for animals, particularly those abandoned or abused has galvanized all of Broadway to ensure that thousands of adorable, adoptable dogs and cats find their forever homes, as well as raise funds for the organizations that embrace them in their darkest hours," he said.

He remarked that Mary’s affection for animals was matched by a generous, kind, and cherished spirit. That "spirit" touched the hearts of many around the world.