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Lynn woman passionate about being canine foster mom

April 12, 2015

LYNN, Mass. (AP) — Betty Bare loves dogs — she has adopted 29 since 2008 for foster care stays — caring and loving all of them with the goal of finding loving homes for the pooches.

“I’ve had dogs with bullet holes in them and a beagle with a leg broken in three places. When someone needs me, they just have to call,” she said.

Bare has been featured on WBZ’s “Pet Parade,” and she is an advocate for Beagle Freedom Project, an organization she described as dedicated to freeing dogs used in laboratory experiments by pharmaceutical and detergent firms.

Along with friend and West Lynn neighbor, Maria Chambers, Bare traveled recently to Connecticut to urge the state’s legislators to pass laws specifying more humane treatment for animals.

“Somebody needs to be passionate about animals. They need a voice and Betty gives them one,” Chambers said.

Her beagle, Ella, lived as a foster dog with Bare for two months after being released from a Boston area research facility. Bare said the dog previously lived in a cage and had never run across a lawn or received human affection.

“I just sat in my yard every day and held her,” Bare said.

Bare grew up on Robinson Street and graduated Classical High School in 1969. Her family owned pets, but Bare said her mother was a less-than-enthusiastic dog lover. Bare’s canine affection blossomed late in her 36-year career with St. Jean’s Credit Union when she crossed Highland Avenue during lunch breaks to volunteer at Northeast Animal Shelter.

She started walking dogs and began to accept foster placements after retiring in 2008, taking in sick dogs — including a pug named Buddy — that resisted human affection.

“No one wanted them, but they can be fixed: I would get them ready for their next adventure in life,” Bare said.

She cared for a dog found in Breakheart Reservation in November 2013 after being reported missing.

“She turned out to be absolutely fine,” Bare said.

Bare’s husband, Lynn musician Julio Bare, and their daughter, Oceania, make room in their home for Bare’s canine commitment. She said dogs need human advocates who insist that animals forced to live in cages are released and loved and trained to live in a home.

Chambers and her family adopted Ella last June after Bare successfully acclimated the beagle to life outside a cage.

“When you meet Ella, she’s just sweet and affectionate,” she said.

Three dogs currently live with Bare — Ava, a 10-year-old beagle; a nine-year-old pug named Melody, and a Bijon named Polar who is preparing to relocate to a new family. Her foster dogs are frequent visitors to Bare’s home and she hosted a party last summer for eight beagles complete with a bone-shaped cake with “Life After Labs” inscribed in frosting on it.

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