Abandoned on a busy roadside in France, a matted, skinny and scruffy little terrier that would come to be known as BeBop had an amazing stroke of luck. Barbara and her husband Claude rescued him and took him into their animal-loving family of several dogs and a cat who had also been saved from desperate situations elsewhere in the world. BeBop enjoyed many loving years with his new family, playing in their beautiful garden, savoring walks in the countryside and swimming tirelessly whenever he was near water.
When BeBop passed away in the spring of 2008, Barbara struggled with how she could adequately honor his intrepid spirit. As a native New Yorker who had volunteered at the ASPCA® for several years in the earlyand mid-seventies, she decided it would be fitting to honor BeBop by doing something transformational for the animals of New York City. She approached the ASPCA to ask whether there were any suitable projects available for funding.
Thanks to Barbara, in February the ASPCA unveiled her tribute to BeBop: a new 685-square-foot mobile spay/neuter clinic, bringing the number of vehicles in the ASPCA's spay/neuter fleet to five. The new mobile clinic, which has been informally dubbed "The BeBop Van," will allow the ASPCA to perform a total of 30,000 free and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries annually through the ASPCA Mobile Clinic Program. The ASPCA Mobile Clinics visit low-income neighborhoods throughout the City, providing services to members of the public as well as to independent rescuers and managers of feral cat colonies. The work of the spay/neuter fleet is an essential part of the ASPCA's efforts to end the tragic euthanasia of healthy animals in New York City.
As the BeBop van went on one of its first rounds in a Queens neighborhood, Barbara and Claude went along to watch the admissions process, the prepping of animals and the spay/neuter surgeries. Each animal was handled with loving care, and Barbara and Claude knew that each surgery meant that fewer dogs and cats would end up homeless and hungry on a busy roadside. The words that they had inscribed next to BeBop's picture on the side of the van said it all: "BeBop: On the Road Again"—this time in triumph for all of the animals of New York City.
If you are interested in learning more about major gift opportunities like this, please contact Jaime-Faye Bean, Director of Major Gifts, at [email protected] or by phone at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4506.