ASPCA, Pet Airways Transfer Rescued Dogs from Mississippi Puppy Mill to New York City for Adoption

Nearly 100 animals saved in collaborative effort among national, local agencies
February 7, 2010

WHAT: The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ®), in collaboration with Pet Airways, is transferring 34 dogs rescued from a puppy mill in Holly Springs, Miss. to New York City for adoption.

WHEN: Sunday, February 7, 2010

WHERE:  Pet Airways Lounge at Republic Airport 1300 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735 7:30 p.m.

ASPCA officials will be transferring the dogs to the ASPCA Adoption Center at 424 E. 92nd Street in Manhattan, where they are expected to arrive between 9 and 9:30 p.m. tonight.

Pet Airways arrival time at Metro Aviation Service is approximately 12:30 PM.
ASPCA officials will be loading dogs onto the plane. The flight will continue to Farmingdale Airport, Long Island, where the rescued dogs will then be transferred to the ASPCA Adoption Center at 424 E. 92nd Street in Manhattan.

WHY:  “We are grateful for the collaboration of Pet Airways, which offered to fly these dogs at cost, as well as local and out-of-state animal welfare agencies that assisted in this effort,” said Matt Bershadker, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group. Added Allison Cardona, Director of Operations for the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team: “This is a great example of what like-minded animal welfare professionals can accomplish when they work together for the common goal of saving lives.”

Under the authority and request of the Marshall Co. Prosecutor’s Office in Marshall County, Miss., the ASPCA dispatched its field investigations and response team last Thursday, February 4, to assist in the emergency removal of 100 dogs from a puppy mill operation in Holly Springs, Miss.
The dogs, which include small breeds such as Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Pugs, Yorkshire Terriers, Corgis, and Chihuahuas, were discovered living in feces-encrusted pens and filth.  Many were underweight with skin problems, among other medical conditions. Several dead adult dogs and puppies were also discovered on the property.

Participating agencies on the scene included American Humane Association, Marshall County Humane Society, Mississippi State University, and Collierville (Tenn.) Humane Society.

In addition to animal welfare groups, many veterinarians and volunteers assisted in the on-site medical treatment of the animals, including Dr. Rebecca Coleman of Memphis, Tenn., Dr. Phil Bushby, a faculty member at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Kimberly Woodruff, also with Mississippi State.

“We are glad to have been able to be part of another major, collaborative effort to rescue these dogs from such deplorable conditions,” said Gail Buchwald, Senior Vice President, ASPCA Adoptions Center. “Once we have medically and behaviorally evaluated these dogs, we look forward to finding them forever homes.”

On January 6, the ASPCA welcomed 15 homeless Chihuahuas from California shelters.  The dogs were transported to New York from the City of San Francisco Animal Care & Control on donated seats from Virgin America airlines, and have since been adopted. On January 29, the ASPCA received six neglected Labrador Retriever mixes from an overcrowded shelter in Clarksdale, Miss.

On-scene ASPCA contact:
Allison Cardona, Director of Operations, Field Investigations & Response

ASPCA media contact: 
Mark Knight, 917-675-0645

About Pet Airways
Pet Airways is the first airline specifically designed for the comfortable, efficient transportation of pets. Pet Airways' “pawsengers” travel in the specially equipped main cabin of its planes - fully-lit, climate-controlled and pressurized - with a trained pet attendant on duty at all times. With Pet Airways, pet parents can be assured their animals will be treated with tender, loving care throughout the journey. The airline launched in 2009, and provides coast-to-coast service from Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Omaha, Chicago, Baltimore/Washington, New York and Ft. Lauderdale . Follow the rescue and how the dogs travel on the Pet Airways website,