JOPLIN, Mo.--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Joplin Humane Society successfully found permanent homes for 745 pets during its weekend adopt-a-thon event on June 25 and 26. More than 5,700 people from 24 states rolled into Joplin, Mo. to adopt hundreds of animals in the aftermath of last month's devastating tornado.
"We're completely floored by the amazing outpouring of support," said Joplin native Tim Rickey, the ASPCA's senior director of Field Investigations and Response. "Thanks to the generosity of these wonderful people, the animals left homeless by last month's tornado are sleeping in new beds tonight."
Adoption fees were waived for the event, and all cats and dogs were spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, and provided an ID tag free of charge.
Since May 23, responders worked around the clock to track down the owners of lost pets through grassroots outreach including flyers, public service announcements, social media outreach, paid advertising, and stories in the media. The mandatory holding period for animals affected by the disaster was even doubled in an effort to reunite as many people and pets as possible.
The ASPCA provided emergency sheltering for approximately 1,300 animals during the month-long sheltering period. Nearly 500 animals were reunited with their owners, and several hundred were made available for adoption. Two hundred others, including newborns and injured animals not yet available for adoption, will be made available in the coming weeks.
"The ASPCA is grateful for assistance from agencies across the country in helping us provide aid to rescued animals and making the adoption event a huge success," added Rickey. Eighty-nine animal welfare agencies sent staff and volunteers throughout the operation to support the ASPCA's disaster relief and emergency sheltering efforts.
"There are many sweet and lovable animals waiting patiently for forever homes in a shelter near you," added Karen Aquino, executive director of Joplin Humane Society. "You can make just as meaningful an impact by adopting a pet from your local shelter."
The ASPCA and Joplin Humane Society thank the amazing citizens of Joplin and the surrounding communities who came out in droves to adopt! Stay tuned to www.aspca.org/blog and @ASPCA on Twitter for stories and photos of hundreds of happy endings in the coming days.