Shelter dog meets Hall of Fame rocker

This is the unlikely tale of a legendary Hall of Fame rocker and a decidedly less famous, but equally disarming, shelter dog named Barley.

Cindy and Dennis Dunaway are best known for their work with the original Alice Cooper Band. Cindy created their costumes, which trail-blazed the glam rock style, while Dennis played bass and helped pen some of rock’s biggest hits, such as “School’s Out.” Dennis, along with the other members of the original Alice Cooper group, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March.

But we’re not here to discuss glitter and gold records. We’re here to discuss their newest house guest: Barley, a Pets for Patriots eligible dog for adoption. Picture of Dennis Dunaway and Barley

Barley sits next to Dennis, leaning gratefully and beaming as Dennis pets his soft, apricot fur. Barley is a classic mutt; if you ask a child to draw a dog, they draw Barley. Barley is a shelter dog resident at Pets for Patriots partner shelter Stamford Animal Care & Control in Connecticut. At the moment, he is enjoying a little break at the Dunaways’.

“We volunteer at the shelter, and have always admired Barley,” Dennis tells me. “He’s a laid-back, friendly and an all-around good dog.”

When Barley and I walk together, the stress of daily life melts away. He’s always so happy and appreciative to be exploring the outdoors together. His enthusiasm would be a refreshing mood boost for anyone.

“It’s so frustrating to me,” Cindy says. “Barley’s such a sweet dog, but has been in the shelter for years — I can’t figure it out. He’s the kind of dog we all had growing up, so what I see in him is a loyal companion, a buddy.  Despite living in a tiny kennel, he’s nothing but a happy guy every time I visit him. He enthusiastically observes everything; he loves life and seems thankful for everything around us…the trees swaying, the squirrels playing…” Dennis adds, “Especially the squirrels!” 

So the question on everyone’s mind: who’s Barley’s favorite musician? Cindy guesses Bruce Springsteen. “A working guy’s singer! And to answer your next question…yes, he looks fabulous in sequins.”

“Someone rescue this dog!” Dennis quips.

Having to travel for work and having two rescued dogs of their own (one of them special needs), Cindy and Dennis will sadly have to return Barley back to the shelter. “We just wanted to give him some well-deserved home time, a break from the shelter,” Cindy says. “Barley will go back into his cement kennel for 16 hours at a time, hoping that tomorrow, maybe his hero will come and see him for the good dog he is, and take him to his new home once and for all.” Dennis adds,

How wonderful if one of our returning soldiers or veterans adopted him — they’ve done so much for us, they deserve a pet who will do nothing but give. He’s also a natural follower, and could learn functions or tasks that might be helpful to his companion.

Picture of Barley the shelter dogBarley’s the kind of pet that Pets for Patriots encourages our military community to adopt: a down-right good dog.  Even though most of us would love a pet as laid-back as Barley, he is overshadowed time and time again by shelter mates who are more vocal, energetic, or pleading as potential adopters walk by. His wagging tail and quiet smile are perhaps misconceived as complacency. Luckily, he is in a no-kill shelter with lots of volunteer interaction and socialization, though it doesn’t even come close to being a true family. 

Barley qualifies for the Pets for Patriots program, which entitles eligible military professionals to discounted veterinary care over the life of Barley through member veterinarians and direct financial support towards the purchase of pet food and other basics. To meet Barley, contact Renee at (203) 918-5864 or

To see Barley in action, check out his video!


  1. Douglas Palmer says:

    If Barley can be adopted out to a civilian home I would love to have him bring his love here. I lost my Fritzer after 14 of the most glorious years of my life. I could never join the military (as much as I wish I could have) because of my feet and my back. Thank you for your servicethrough this adoption agency. God bless you all for your work for the animals and men and women serving our lives and our freedoms<):o}

  2. Kathy Leighton says:

    My husband are experienced dog owners and would be honored to give Barley a forever home. We recently lost our collie-mix, Ike after 19 years. He was the most loyal friend a family could ever have and is greatly missed. We currently have a Jack Russel “Terrorist”, a Foxhound and am fostering an Australian Cattle Dog for my son who is a combat medic currently serving in Afghanstan . We have 10 acres in northern Virginia (on a river) with 2 of those acres fenced. All of the animals (including 2 cats) sleep in our room at night ( usually on our bed)! Please let us know how we can help . We have a proven track record of spoiling any dog who comes our way! Just ask our vet…. Who comes the first Tuesday of every month! They have better healthcare than we do!!

  3. Why is the gov not using all these dogs in our airports. It seems another waste of my money to not bring them all home and give them gainful employment. I am sure some of the TSA or other Federal agencies can use their expert training to our countries benefit.

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