DIEHARD PROFILE: Kevin Oakley of Mosh For Paws Goes Hard for a Cause

Photo Credit: Sean Sullivan

If there is anything better than hardcore it’s puppies, and if there is anything better than puppies it’s finding a way to help puppies that are in need. Enter Kevin Oakley, local NJ show host, fervent hardcore kid and animal rights activist. If you’re part of the New Jersey Hardcore Facebook group, you’ll know him as one of the guys who posts almost every other day. If you’re part of the local show circuit–band or fan–you’ve heard of his mission before. If not, here’s your chance to meet him and get ready for his next Mosh For Paws show on September 23rd featuring acts Suburban Scum, Maximum Penalty, The Banner, Friend Or Foe, Steel Nation, Laid 2 Rest, Jukai, and Threat 2 Society at Mexicali Live in Teaneck.

When and why did you first come up with the idea to combine shows with animal rescue efforts?

I started Mosh For Paws back in August of 2011 for a shelter that was in scare of closing down. I hosted an event in northern New Jersey to help raise money so they could find homes for these homeless dogs and cats. Sadly, the show didn’t go over so well and only a few bucks were donated. Ever since that show, I decided to continue doing it. The following year, I hosted a pet adoption outside of a show and a little six year old beagle got adopted and it went up from there.

Where do the proceeds go? Do you always work with the same organizations or do you switch it up?

I don’t really know where I want to go with this. I’m only doing this for fun and obviously to help out the local animal rescues or shelters within our community. Each year I do switch it up. I’ve been favoring certain breed rescues. I’ve worked with a lot of sketchy shelters in the past; shelters that I ended up not being so comfortable with how my donation money was being spent on. I go for rescues mainly cause I know the fosters are actually going to towards the dogs to help them.

“I want people to stand up and speak out against animal cruelty and animal neglect.”

Why are you excited about this upcoming show in September?

Oh man, this year I kinda went all out. I recently started working at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ. It’s a legit real venue in north Jersey that recently started to welcome hardcore shows. 300 cap room with a stage, sound, lights and banging food. This year, I’ll be donating the proceeds to a Pug rescue called “For the Love of Pugs”. They’ll also be setting up a little adoption table outside the venue where you can pick up some info and meet some of the adoptable pugs between 4pm-6pm.

What do you hope people take away from this experience?

I’m an all around animal lover. I want people to know that dogs or any animals don’t deserve being treated badly. I want people to stand up and speak out against animal cruelty and animal neglect. We are not a vegan organization, but we do promote that lifestyle. Combining a voice like ours within a hardcore/punk community, I do believe it will change peoples views on certain things and will help others to open up their eyes and be like, ‘Hey, this is really happening in our backyards and it needs to stop’. Promoting the fact that it’s okay to adopt from a shelter besides going to your local puppy mill mall store and getting a puppy that’s sick. A lot of people don’t know that in shelters, if a dog is over the age of 6-7, theres a 90% chance that dog will spend the rest of his or her life in a shelter, or worse, be put down for taking up space.


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