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Show Me the Money: Bright Leashes, Big City

Brooklyn Bridge dog walk raises money and awareness for shelter pets

As he was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge one day last spring, Joseph Hassan got an idea. The bridge connects the borough to Manhattan, but Hassan was considering another connection: the one between the home foreclosure crisis and abandoned animals.

Hassan, an animal lover and public relations consultant who lives in Brooklyn, had seen a TV news report that included an ASPCA estimate that as many as a million pets nationwide might lose their homes due to foreclosures. “That number just kind of struck me,” Hassan recalls. “Obviously we’ve all thought about the direct impact that foreclosures and the economy have on us humans, but I’d never really thought about it kind of trickling down to pets as well.”

Hassan soon hatched a plan for a benefit dog walk across the bridge to increase awareness of the plight of homeless pets and raise money for animal shelters. Dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge Pup Crawl, the Sept. 26 event attracted about 300 people and 400 dogs, and raised an estimated $4,000 for three animal shelters around the country.

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