1. Joplin Adopt-a-Thon a Massive Success, Thanks to Your Support!
The numbers are in, and an unbelievable 739 animals found homes at the Joplin adopt-a-thon! A total of 390 dogs and 343 cats—and one ferret and five rabbits—found loving homes in what’s being called the biggest adoption event in the Midwest. A huge crowd of people from states as diverse as New Mexico and Wisconsin attended the event, and many walked away with bigger families. Each animal went home microchipped and spayed or neutered, with a new leash, collar, personalized ID tag and goodie bag.
Putting on such an enormous event took hundreds of volunteers, weeks of planning, and mind-boggling logistics that included creating a streamlined process to make sure adopters were screened and prepared. But let’s skip to the fun part: the adoptions! Check out two of the many happy tails that came from Joplin (you’ll find more at ASPCA.org in the coming weeks) and a photo slideshow from the event. Enjoy!
Miranda Scott, Paul Ornelas and Pretty Girl
Miranda Scott and Paul Ornelas were in the Joplin area on Saturday, June 25, to pick up a tool when they heard about the adopt-a-thon on KISS FM. They drove the two hours home to Chanute, Kansas, that night, but they were back in Joplin at 11:00 A.M. on Sunday for the event.
It’s not every pet parent who can step up to the plate and adopt an animal who needs extra care, but Scott and Ornelas, who already had two Mastiffs and two cats, had the know-how and experience to take on a little extra responsibility. That’s why the couple hoped to adopt an overlooked or special needs animal.
When it was their turn to meet the felines, Scott and Ornelas saw one black-and-white kitty they just had to bring home. When they found a tiny, all-black kitten who was a little bit sick, they fell in love again—and were undeterred when an adoptions counselor said the kitten was feral.
But then they looked around—it was near the end of the event, and several families were hovering near the kitten. “I offered her to them, because seeing families with children…I didn’t want the kids to go without,” says Scott. But after meeting with an ASPCA behaviorist, each family decided they weren’t up to the challenge of socializing a feral kitten. So Scott and Ornelas, who have feral cat experience, took both cats home to their seven-bedroom house.
Now, less than a week later, that feral kitten, named Pretty Girl (“We have funny names for all our animals,” laughs Scott), is a love bug who lets the kids pick her up and snuggle her. She’s even friendlier than the other kitty, who earned the name Pissy Pants because she is still working out some relationship issues with the Mastiffs.
“Pretty Girl sleeps in our bed,” says Scott. “She still scares easily, but she’s nothing like a feral kitty.”
Peggy and Elizabeth Howe and Windy
Peggy Howe of Topeka, Kansas, has been battling cancer for two years, but that hasn’t stopped her from thinking about others. When she heard about the devastation the EF-5 tornado left in Joplin, she knew she had to do something to make a difference for that community. “I’m not strong enough right now to do much physical labor,” says Howe, “but I heard about [the adopt-a-thon], and I thought, ‘This is something I can do to help.’”
Howe’s 16-year-old dog passed away less than a year ago, but she’d finally been feeling ready to adopt again, and she especially missed having a canine around to comfort her through the long days spent at home enduring cancer treatment. So she and her daughter Elizabeth hopped in the car to drive three and a half hours to Joplin in hopes of meeting a new dog.
Elizabeth Howe greets her new canine sibling at the Joplin adopt-a-thon.
When it was the Howes’ turn to meet adoptable dogs, they saw her right away: a tiny puppy who was the exact same mix as the Howes’ recently deceased dog. “I started bawling,” says Howe. It was a perfect match, and both Howes were smitten.
The newest member of the Howe family, now named Windy, can be found out and about in Topeka wearing a pink, rhinestone-studded collar attached to a bright-orange ASPCA leash. “I’ve been taking her everywhere with me,” says Howe, who says her unusually calm puppy is very popular with everyone she meets. Windy starts crate training next week and is already enjoying high-quality dog food, treats and brand-new toys of both the squeaky and chewy varieties. She’s also showing high aptitude for playing fetch and is very smart, Howe brags, noting that she might be a tad biased.
“If I could be reincarnated, I’d want to be reincarnated as a dog in my family,” says Howe. “I’m telling you: This dog is not going to want for love, that’s for sure.”
There are so many wonderful stories from Joplin, and none of them would have been possible without the help of countless organizations and volunteers. We'd like to extend a sincere thanks to each organization (for a full list, see below). And, of course, thank YOU. Because of your unwavering support, we were able to assist more than 1,300 animals in Joplin—but thousands of animals still need our help. Please consider making a gift to make a difference in their lives today.
Allen County SPCA
American Humane Association
Animal Emergency Clinic (O'Fallon, MO)
Animal Humane Society
Animal Rescue League of Boston
Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire
Animal Welfare Association
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Animal Welfare Society
Asheville Humane Society
Baltimore County Animal Control
Bay Area DART
Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society
Boulder County Sheriff's Dept
British Columbia SPCA
California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps
CHA Animal Shelter
Champaign County Humane Society
Champaign Valley K9 Search and Rescue Team
Charleston Animal Society
Colorado Animal Welfare League
Colorado Humane Society
Denver Dumb Friends League
Dogs Deserve Better
Eagle Valley Humane Society
Ericson Veterinarian Hospital
Erie County SPCA
Foundation for Protection of Animals
Geauga Humane Society
Greenhill Humane Society
Hampton Animal Hospital
Heartland Humane Society of Missouri
Herndon Animal Medical Center
Houston Area Doberman Rescue
Humane Society Greater Kansas City
Humane Society of Broward County
Humane Society of Atchinson County
Humane Society Of Berks County
Humane Society of Chittenden County
Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region
Humane Society of Vero Beach
Jacksonville Humane Society
Liberty Humane Society
Mid America Bully Breed Rescue
Missouri Emergency Response Service
Naperville Area Humane Society
Nebraska Humane Society
Oregon Humane Society
Plattsmouth Police Department
Quincy Humane Society
Red Bank Veterinary Hospital
Riverside County Animal Services
Santa Clara County Medical Volunteers for Disaster Response
Saranac Technical Rescue Team
Shelby County Medical Marine Corps
Spay and Neuter Kansas City
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS)
St. Hubert's Giralda
The Humane Society of Fulton County
Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation
United Animal Nations
Utah Medical Reserve Corps
Vet Center of Liberty
Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas
Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force
Washington Animal Rescue League
Washington State Animal Response Team
Western Pennsylvania Humane Society