Badass, To the Rescue

Elizabeth Frank, executive director of Mr. Bones & Co., shares a moment with one of the rescue Pit Bulls at their kissing booth.
Elizabeth Frank, executive director of Mr. Bones & Co., shares a moment with one of the rescue Pit Bulls at their kissing booth.

Brooklyn, NY – September 14, 2014

The smell of scented furs and warm food filled the air, while the sounds of bells, barks, and chatting spread across Brooklyn this past Sunday. The smells and sounds were the hundreds of people and their dogs clamoring between President Street and Third avenue to enjoy Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue’s 2nd annual Fall Festival.

Everybody that made it to the festival was treated to various activities, crafts and attractions catered to humans and canines alike. The festival offered visitors things to do and engage in, such as a Pit Bull kissing booth, obstacle course, homemade crafts for dogs, dog training, specialized food for dogs and their owners, a live band, as well as, a myriad of other captivating activities that everybody could partake.

Shannon O’Neill and Keith McKnight were among the people who perused the street, with their dog, Franny, enjoying all that the festival had to offer.

“They have so many different kinds of dogs, they have so many great events,” O’Neill said.

"We pretty much came here for Franny to hang out," said Keith McKnight, as he and Shannon O'Neill rest on the sidewalk with their dog, Franny. "Whatever makes the little dog happy."
“We pretty much came here for Franny to hang out,” said Keith McKnight, as he and Shannon O’Neill rest on the sidewalk with their dog, Franny. “Whatever makes the little dog happy.”
Yard Sale, a New York-based band, provides their eclectic music to the festival.
Yard Sale, a New York-based band, provides their eclectic music to the festival.

Although one of the festival’s goals is to provide visitors a good time, the event is a building block to something more meaningful and righteous.

“There are various adoption events that we do throughout the year, but Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue also holds an annual street fair in order to raise money for the organization that goes to training, medical and transportation costs, all affiliated with the rescue process,” said David Freeman, one of Badass Brooklyn’s event organizers.

Dakota, a rescue dog from Badass Brooklyn, enjoys a pooch-ini from Shake Shack.
Dakota, a rescue dog from Badass Brooklyn, enjoys a pooch-ini from Shake Shack.

The rescue process and rescue dogs are something that many of the festival’s vendors and visitors hold near and dear to their hearts. Many of them have rescued dogs or assist others in doing so.

“There are way too many dogs out there, way too many that we lose and are killed every year,” said Eddie Melendez, who came to the festival with his two Dachshunds. “Looking for homes for dogs that are already here is a priority.”

With many dogs in need, it came to no surprise that one of the most popular and crowd-pleasing activities, donated all of its profits from the festival directly to Badass Brooklyn. The attraction was a Pit Bull kissing booth, run by Mr. Bones & Co., another organization that champions and assists in rescuing dogs in need.

A young boy pets Elsa, a rescued Pit Bull, at Mr. Bones & Co.'s Pit Bull kissing booth
A young boy pets Elsa, a rescued Pit Bull, at Mr. Bones & Co.’s Pit Bull kissing booth

Elizabeth Frank, the executive director of Mr. Bones and Co., is familiar with the rescue process, having rescued a dog herself, she wanted to contribute as much as she could.

“If our kissing Pit Bulls can raise money for other rescue groups, then damn it that’s what we’re going to do,” she said, with alacrity in her voice.

She also felt that rescuing dogs means more than just providing a home for a dog in need.

“Rescue is incredibly important because it creates an ethos and it sets a tone for what we teach our children.” Frank said. “I think the very basis of humanity starts with animal welfare, it’s how you treat those less than human.”

As the hundreds of people dwindled down to a few dozen and the sound of barking and sniffing began to settle down, Freeman couldn’t help but to reflect on the importance of the festival.

“I think the festival today has been very successful,” Freeman said. “We’re really just building relationships.”

Festival attendees maneuver through crowds to examine the myriad of booths available.
Festival attendees maneuver through crowds to examine the myriad of attractions available.

Those same relationships and the camaraderie that festivals like these form, are things that Badass Brooklyn and its supporters look to build on moving forward to provide dogs with more propitious lives.

“It’s just raising awareness that there are facilities and organizations that are doing right by these animals, so they are not just thrown away,” Freeman said.

“It’s important for us to do our part, and find homes for animals that need it, there’s so many who’ve been hurt or abused,” said Heather Finn, who rescued her dog, Dakota, through Badass Brooklyn. “For people to give them a new life, and a great one, is so important.”

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