The ASPCA Animal Relocation Team hit the road this week to help dogs in South Carolina get a second chance at shelters in Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Kristen Limbert, ASPCA Animal Relocation Manager, shares her notes on the operation.
This morning we arrived at A Second Chance Animal Shelter (ASCAS) in Manning, South Carolina. After meeting with the staff, we carefully secured 41 dogs in our transport vehicle and set off on our journey to give these homeless pups a second chance.
Call to Action The plan actually began a few months ago when the ASPCA Animal Relocation Team was asked to assist ASCAS. The organization was desperate to transport a few of their long-term shelter residents to other areas of the country where they would have a better chance at adoption.
ASCAS’ office manager told us these were great dogs, but some had been at the shelter for years. In Manning, the supply of dogs far exceeds the demand—there just aren’t enough homes for them all.
After months of planning, our team found three rescue organizations that could accept the Manning dogs. Our only task now: to get them there.
And We’re Off! Saying goodbye is always bittersweet. As sad as it was for the dedicated staff at ASCAS to say goodbye, they knew this transfer would give the animals a new chance at the life they deserve.
We are transporting both puppies and adults, with breeds ranging in size from Chihuahua mix to Rottweiler. Did we mention the hounds? Well, we’ve got lots of them. And I can tell already that they are all sweet, lovable pups. Despite the stress of being walked from the only home many of them had ever known onto a big trailer, they kept tails wagging—I even got a few slobbery kisses.
Our journey will cover about 1,400 miles and take us to the following shelters, without which none of this would be possible:
Capital Area Humane Society, Hilliard, OH Bay Area Humane Society, Green Bay, WI Animal Humane Society, Golden Valley, MN
A special thanks as well to Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team out of Bushnell, Florida, for providing the transport rig, and drivers Daniel Hickey and Don Nuckels. We couldn't do this without your help!
Stay tuned for a message from our next stop, in Ohio. We’ll be sure to share some photos with you, too!
Congrats to Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, Texas; the Humane Society of Greater Savannah in Savannah, Georgia; and the Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport, Mississippi! All three shelters are in the running to win the ASPCA’s Community Engagement Award.
The Community Engagement Award is part of the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge, a friendly, three-month-long competition in which shelters across the country work to save more animals’ lives. The award includes a $25,000 grant prize.
The three finalists all received the most online votes on the $100K Challenge website. The winner will be selected by the ASPCA Grants Committee and announced on November 30.
During the $100K Challenge, contestants competed to save at least 300 more animals in August, September and October 2011, than they did over the same three-month period in 2010. In last year’s first-ever Challenge, contestants saved a total of 48,779 lives in three months—an increase of 7,362 lives over the same three months in 2009.
Every single day our team works hard to bring an end to puppy mills—and our efforts are paying off. Three weeks ago, Jack’s Pets, a pet store chain with 27 stores in the Midwest, pledged to stop selling puppies. Instead, the store will work with local animal rescue groups and shelters to find homes for homeless pets.
Just a few days earlier, the ASPCA assisted in the treatment and sheltering of more than 100 dogs rescued from a puppy mill in Kentucky. The dogs are now safe and the mill’s owner has been charged with 46 counts of animal cruelty.
Take Action It is thanks to the support of our members that we are able to rescue puppy mill victims and take another step toward shutting down this cruel industry. To find out how you can help us fight puppy mills, please visit www.nopetstorepuppies.com.
Want to fight puppy mills? There are many ways you can help end this brutal industry. Here are top five actions you can take to make a difference:
Don’t Buy Puppies from Pet Stores That puppy who charmed you through the pet shop window has most likely come from a puppy mill. In these facilities, dogs are caged in unsanitary conditions and bred as often as possible. They give birth to puppies who may present medical problems later in life. Instead, make pet adoption your first option.
Take the Puppy Mill Pledge! Please sign our pledge against puppy mills and promise not to buy your next pet or any pet supplies from retail stores that sell puppies. With your help, we can put an end to this vicious cycle of cruelty.
Speak Out! If passed, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act will require any breeder that sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs a year directly to the public to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It needs your support!
Share Your Story with the ASPCA If you suspect your dog is from a puppy mill, please tell us your story. The more we spread the word, the more we can build support to help ban puppy mills.
Tell Your Friends If someone you know is planning to buy a puppy, please direct them to our puppy mill information page at ASPCA.org. Let them know that there are perfectly healthy dogs—of all breeds and sizes—waiting to be adopted.
ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team members are in the process of rescuing more than 100 dogs from an Arkansas puppy mill where a search warrant was executed earlier today. ASPCA response team members and veterinary staff are working to evaluate the pups and ready them for transport to a temporary shelter.
FIR Medical Director Dr. Rhonda Windham and her forensics team are also at the site, working to document the condition of the dogs to help law enforcement build a criminal case against the mill’s owner, Pam Thomas. Thomas has been arrested and charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty.
During the raid earlier today, the team found more than 100 frightened and unhealthy dogs living in profoundly inhumane conditions at the mill, suffering from severe neglect and various diseases.
“Our goal is to help the local authorities by providing experts and resources to support the case, and see that these animals move on to a better place,” says ASPCA Director of Investigations Kathryn Destreza, who is leading the operation for the ASPCA.
We’ll have more on this developing story soon—stay tuned to the ASPCA blog.