Rockin’ for Rescue unites music community for a cause

Merrick couple begins raising money for dog rescue agencies


When a Shih Tzu-poodle mix named Shane broke off from his litter in Georgia, he was brought to a local animal shelter that contacted a New York rescue agency. The agency took him in and splayed his face across the Internet on pet adoption websites, one of which Curt and Bobbie Arnel, of Merrick, were browsing when they first saw their new puppy.

The Arnels applied, along with 30 other people, to adopt Shane and were chosen to only after undergoing a strict vetting process, in which the agency sent representatives to the Arnel’s home to ensure it was the adequate environment for a new puppy.

The process, Curt said, was “eye-opening” as he and Bobbie learned about the care that goes into rescuing a dog. Agencies are responsible for paying dogs’ veterinarian bills, buying them food and toys and giving them a place to live. Furthermore, feeding, walking and cleaning after the dogs is done on a volunteer basis. “It just seemed like we could something to help,” Curt said.

Every Sunday night at KJ Farrell’s in Bellmore, Curt plays drums in a band called Off the Record. This summer, he and Bobbie began using this as an opportunity to raise funds for rescue agencies, creating Rockin’ for Rescue. By bringing a donation bin to every show, they have raised roughly $1,000. The local music scene has rallied behind the cause, Curt said, adding, “All of the money comes from musicians and their families and friends.”

On Nov. 5, the couple invited Wendy Caldwell, the founder of A New Beginning Animal Rescue in Plainview, to the weekly music jam and gave her $675 toward the agency’s expenses.

This particular donation, Curt said, was like a personal thank you to A New Beginning, which is where the Arnel’s adopted the first dog, a Maltese named Oscar.

Oscar’s owner dropped him off at the nearest kill shelter before leaving Manhattan roughly three years ago. He was a sick and elderly dog who would be euthanized, but someone at the shelter contacted A New Beginning. Oscar lived with the Arnel’s for three years, until he died last month of spinal cancer.

To find out more about Rockin’ for Rescue, visit their Facebook page at