ASPCA Midwest Relocation Program Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary, Transports 15,000 Animals

The ASPCA’s WaterShed Animal Fund Rescue Ride moved more than 15,000 animals to shelters where they have higher chances of adoption
March 4, 2019

NEW YORK –The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the WaterShed Animal Fund Rescue Ride (WAFRR), launched in January 2017, is celebrating its two-year program anniversary and its milestone of moving 15,000 animals out of overcrowded shelters. The ASPCA transported 1,147 cats and 7,018 dogs from shelters throughout the Midwest to communities where adoptable animals are in higher demand.

Spencer, the 15,000th animal transported on WAFRR, is a 3-year-old terrier/hound mix. He was moved from Paws and Hooves Rescue Foundation in Stillwell, OK to Wayside Waifs, in Kansas City, MO, and was adopted by a loving family within one week.

“Animals like Spencer are great examples of how the ASPCA’s WaterShed Animal Fund Rescue Ride increases their chance of adoption and opportunity to find loving families,” said Lou Guyton, Senior Director, Animal Relocation Program, ASPCA. “By building a network of strong relocation shelter partners in the Midwest, we can lower the population managed at the source shelters and also enable destination shelters to get animals adopted into homes more quickly.”

The ASPCA Animal Relocation Program partners with overcrowded source shelters, who need assistance moving animals out, as well as destination shelters, where animals have a greater chance to be adopted. Through the WAFRR, animals are transported from shelters in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, to shelters in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin. The WAFRR is made possible by and named for the WaterShed Animal Fund, an Oklahoma-based non-profit that funds innovative programs aimed at improving the lives of companion animals.

“We continue to be impressed with the professionalism and efficiency the ASPCA demonstrates while operating this critical and life-saving program,” said Christy Counts, President, WaterShed Animal Fund. “Transportation of shelter pets remains a priority for the WaterShed Animal Fund until the shelter population levels are permanently lowered in the Midwest.”

In 2018, the ASPCA’s WAFRR made 299 trips, working with 11 source shelters, 14 destination shelters, and 1 waystation agency to move over 8,468 animals, including 1,147 cats and over 7,018 dogs.

Cumulatively, the ASPCA’s Animal Relocation Program moved 40,314 animals across the country in 2018, compared to the program’s previous milestone of moving 28,444 in 2017. Animals were transported via the Nancy Silverman Rescue Ride (East Coast), the WaterShed Animal Fund Rescue Ride (Midwest), and the West Coast Animal Relocation Program (West Coast).  

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