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Stand Up For Pits Kicks Off Tour In Memory Of Angel The Velvet Hippo

Stand Up For Pits Kicks Off Tour In Memory Of Angel The Velvet Hippo

Just one month after the heartbreaking passing of Angel, the Stand Up For Pits 2016 tour kicked off in NYC this past Sunday, May 1st.

Leading up to the show, Sean Casey Animal Rescue was the lucky organization to work with the Stand Up For Pits event for the second year in a row. A donation drive was held at their shelter (153 E. 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY) on April 30th, where they received an amazing $2500 dollars worth of supplies – that’s double the amount donated last year!

Sean Casey Donation Drive

The massive amount of donations at Sean Casey Animal Rescue, along with former SCAR grads Waynie (top right) and Xander (bottom left in the chair)

They also hosted an adoption drive at the Gotham Comedy Club in Chelsea before the show on May 1st, bringing five of their “lovabull” Pit Bull-type dogs that are up for adoption. They held a silent auction that raised their organization another $3800, totaling to a whopping $6300 for the rescue! Donors for the silent auction included: Dean Russo Art, Sophie Gamand Photography, Brooklyn Bowtied, Pets–A–Porter, Found My Animal, Laura Warne, Sean Casey volunteer Madeline Silva, Grounds and Hounds Coffee Co., Rescued Wine Candles, PawPack, Dean and Tyler, Kiehl’s, NY Pole, Petropolis, Red Flower, Natural Dog Company, Pajamas For Pitbulls, Pergola Restaurant, Conscious Fork, J. Topolski, Hurtta, Jimmy The Bull, and La Familia Green.

SUFP Silent Auction Merchandise

Silent auction items and merchandise during the adoption drive

Sean Casey’s adoptable hippos filled the space with all the kisses and belly rubs they could muster. They did a fantastic job!

Sean Casey collage

Sean Casey workers with Fufu the dog (left), Piper getting belly rubs (right)
The best news of all was that a couple who attended the event met Piper and just couldn’t get him out of their minds, so they went back and adopted him the next day. The rest of the beautiful and well–behaved pups are still waiting though, so please check out their stories and consider adopting one if you’re looking for a furry companion!

SCAR dogs

BarkPost spoke with Sean Casey’s Director of Administration, Theresa Labianca, who told us that they are so honored to work with The Stand Up For Pits Foundation. Their shelter is comprised of anywhere between 30–50 per cent of Pit Bull “type” dogs at any given time, which is heartbreaking to people like Theresa and the many others who know what wonderful animals they really are. Theresa told us:

“Rebecca is just amazing for what she does and taking this from a smaller scale to a nation–wide level of awareness. She really fights for the rights of these Pit Bull ‘types’ and gives a voice to the voiceless.”

Of course, Rebecca had some wonderful things to say about Sean Casey Animal Rescue as well. She told us:

“I’m blown away by the adoption, silent auction, and SUFP donation drive! So proud of everyone working together. So much more can be accomplished when people get off the couch, from behind the computer, and work together. Piper got adopted because of NYC Stand Up For Pits and that is always a magical thing. Additionally $3800 was raised at the silent auction for Sean Casey Animal Rescue. Every year grows more and more. It’s inspiring to see.”

Piper

The super handsome Piper (who was adopted after the drive)

After the adoption drive, guests who had come from all over (including Canada and Ireland!) to honor Angel and see Rebecca Corry perform were led into the club, where pictures of Angel hung and flowers were lain across the stage. Tears could be seen as soon as people walked in, but fortunately there were some really amazing comics on hand to get the laughs flowing.

Angel Stage 2

Charles McBee emceed the event and got things off to a roaring start, followed by Wali Collins and Michelle Buteau. Their hilarious performances garnered guffaws and audience participation, getting the crowd ready for the much anticipated Janeane Garofalo and of course, the woman responsible for it all — Rebecca Corry.

SUFP Comedian collage

The opening comedians from left to right: Charles McBee, Wali Collins, and Michelle Buteau

BarkPost had the chance to speak with some of the comedians about their experiences with dogs and getting involved with Stand Up For Pits. Charles McBee grew up with family dogs, and experienced the love of Pit Bull “types” as a kid while playing with friends’ dogs. He understands what wonderful dogs they really are and is quick to defend them, stating “They don’t have a say in how society views them, and they need a lot of protection.”

Michelle Buteau met Rebecca 15 years ago while doing stand up for Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend”. Miss Corry did an amazing karate kick and Michelle was so impressed that she didn’t split her pants, she thought: “I should be friends with her.” She is a major dog lover, having two herself: a Chihuahua/Pug mix (nicknamed a “Chug” by Miss Buteau) that goes by Roxie, and a Labrador/Mastiff mix named Lola who thinks she is a small dog but is a more like a “bull in a china shop.” She included some stories about her pups during the set that were obviously well–received and understood by the many dog lovers in the audience.

Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo performing

Janeane Garofalo has done Stand Up For Pits for three years in a row and is a big-time supporter of Pit Bull-type dogs. She and her boyfriend have one now, and she has had two others in the past. She told us that when she met Angel for the first time years ago, she thought:

“This is the most well-behaved dog I have ever met. I must be the worst dog mom. I haven’t adopted those Pit Bulls you see that are all calm and dignified… I get the wild ones that are pulling me every which way.”

Despite her getting some super energetic Bullies herself, Miss Garofalo has only the best things to say about Pit Bull-types and the Stand Up For Pits Foundation. She told BarkPost: “It’s such a great organization that raises awareness and works to get rid of the bad rap that these dogs have gotten.” We couldn’t agree more, Janeane!

And of course the star of the show, Rebecca Corry, was phenomenal. She followed Janeane’s killer set with an incredible amount of courage and strength as she is going through the loss of Angel. As soon as she stepped onstage, the entire audience gave her an insanely long standing ovation that was extremely emotional and a true testament to the kind of people and love that filled the room that evening.

Rebecca onstage

Rebecca perfoming onstage

She wrote a very poignant post to Facebook from her plane ride to NYC, stating:

This year we will be in 8 cities and this is the first time Stand Up For Pits has ever happened without Angel but I will continue to say ‘we’ because Angel and I are still ‘we’ and will be forever. ‘We’ looks and feels different now. It’s not easy and quite honestly it’s f***ing excruciating… but her life has and will continue to save others and so much more and I will see to it that that never stops and work harder than ever in her name and want to encourage you all to do the same.

Angel Airplane

The beautiful photo of Angel attached to Rebecca Corry’s plane ride post to NYC

She continued on to say:

To address the few who’ve asked, the answer is no. There will not be a kissing booth at Stand Up For Pits events. To put any size or type of dog we don’t know in a situation they aren’t used to like a kissing booth would be irresponsible, not fair to the dog and ignorant. Angel was mine, my responsibility and she absolutely loved the kissing booth and was magical at doing it. Additionally, the kissing booth was very special to Angel and I for many reasons. That’s all that will be said on this and would appreciate your respect and understanding.

Rebecca and Piper

Rebecca kissing Piper

The set was dedicated to the Velvet Hippo, including stories of her dry British humor and just how much she loved all the hoomans. A very touching moment of silence was given, with many sniffles across the house as everyone remembered and respected a truly tremendous life. Angel’s spirit was very much with everyone that night. The evening was ended with a particularly beautiful scene of Rebecca, Janeane, and others dancing onstage and in the crowd to Natalie Merchant’s “Kind and Generous” – the most perfect song to ever be attributed to Angel.

SUFP Hoodie

During the show, Rebecca wore the new Angel hoodie that she designed (you can purchase it here)

Rebecca and Janeane greeted VIP guests after the show, signing posters that were donated by Show Your Soft Side — a Baltimore–based non–profit organization that raises funds and awareness for shelter/rescue animals.

Rebecca Janeane VIP

Janeane Garofalo (left) and Rebecca Corry (right) signing posters for VIP audience members after the show

BarkPost asked Miss Corry how the outpouring of love from fans after Angel’s passing has affected her, and she responded:

Honestly, it has been difficult just getting out of bed and brushing my teeth so I haven’t seen a whole lot, but the comments and stories I have seen from people who adopted, become volunteers or fosters, educators and advocates all because of Angel are the people who affect me the most. People who have changed their lives and are actively part of the solution because of Angel and the SUFP Foundation is an incredible thing to see and the level it’s happening at. That said, there is still an enormous amount of work to be done and we all need to remain focused on that.

Miss Corry will be continuing on to the sold out show in Arlington this Sunday, May 8th, but there are still tickets left for many of the other shows including the Baltimore show on May 15th. In addition to New York, Arlington, and Baltimore, Stand Up For Pits will be also be performing in Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Tacoma this year. Tickets can be bought through the Stand Up For Pits Foundation website here.

Angel Born Inherently Good

Show your support and honor this amazing woman and Angel by attending an event that is not to be missed! If you are unable to get to a show and want to donate or learn more about what they do, please visit the website, follow on Facebook and Instagram, and get involved.

WE ARE THE VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS! If you suspect someone is fighting dogs call 1-877-777-2585 in LOS ANGELES COUNTY. National tip line number is 1-877-TIP-HSUS. If a dog fight is in progress immediately call 911.

SUFP Dog Fighting Hotline

Featured image via: Stand Up For Pits Foundation

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