Helping dogs who have been abandoned and abused turn the page to a new chapter in their lives, Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth recently took on the role of a volunteer reader for the ASPCA’s Storytelling Program.
The dogs at the ASPCA’S Canine Annex for Recovery and Enrichment (CARE) have each lived their own sad saga, but their tales of tragedy are transforming into allegories of triumph thanks to their stay in the CARE Ward, which provides its four-legged inhabitants with spacious exercise rooms, nourishing meals and walls painted to create an atmosphere of calm.
Since its start in 2014, volunteers have amassed more than 3,000 hours reading to companion animals at CARE and the Animal Recovery Center wing of the ASPCA Animal Hospital in order to socialize and relax the facility’s temporary residents.
Bebe Neuwirth’s audience of appreciative pups included:
- a 15-year-old Bichon Frise named Bordeaux, who was brought to CARE by members of the New York Police Department in partnership with the ASPCA
- Mocha, a one-year-old Husky mix recovering from physical abuse
- Blue, a four-year-old Pit Bull who was tied to a pole and experienced the horror of not knowing if she would ever have a bite to eat or a drink of water again
- Juice, a four-year-old Pit Bull mix, who is still battling skin issues after he was found tied to a pole on a construction site. (NOTE: Juice is looking for a forever pet parent to love! Find out more about Juice’s playful personality in his ASPCA profile.)
The entertainer chose to read aloud passages from Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. “It’s a lovely, beautiful experience for me to read to the dogs,” the Madam Secretary star said. “It’s clichéd, but when we heal them, they heal us. The words of Tolstoy, the sounds of some sweet animals and just the silence and the words…it was really beautiful.”
As the words of the literary masterpiece washed over the dogs, a statement once made by the iconic author rang true: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Compassionate souls in the New York City area who possess the patience required to help dogs who need time to heal can provide a reassuring voice to soothe their spirit as a volunteer reader for the ASPCA’s Storytelling program.
The ASPCA website offers information on the many volunteer opportunities at the ASPCA adoption center.
Photo Credit: ASPCA/ instagram