ASPCA transfers dogs from overcrowded Mississippi shelter to Big Apple for adoption

Hundreds of animals saved in nationwide, collaborative effort
January 29, 2010

WHAT: For the second time this month, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ®) has come to the rescue of unwanted or neglected pets from other states, this time in collaboration with animal welfare groups from all over the country, and is scheduled to receive six dogs today from an overcrowded animal shelter in Mississippi.

WHEN: Friday, January 29, 2010; Scheduled arrival time: 1:00PM

WHERE: ASPCA Adoption Center, 424 E. 92nd Street, between 1st and York Aves., 10128

WHY: Under the authority and request of the city of Clarksdale, Miss., the ASPCA dispatched its field investigations and response team last Sunday to assist in the emergency removal of approximately 385 dogs and 40 cats from the City of Clarksdale Animal Shelter.

“Animal shelters and rescue groups from all over the country offered their assistance in placing these animals up for adoption,” said Matt Bershadker, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group. “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.”

Participating animal welfare agencies include the Atlanta Humane Society; Paws Humane (Hull County, Ga.); Oxford Lafayette Humane Society (Miss.); Tampa Bay SPCA and Broward County Humane (Fla.); Delaware Humane Association and Kent County SPCA (Del.); White River Animal Rescue and Northern New England Dog Rescue (Vt.); In Defense of Animals; Mississippi Animal Rescue League and Bolivar County Animal Shelter (Miss.); Louisiana SPCA; and Capitol Area Humane Society, Ohio.

In addition to animal welfare groups, many veterinarians and volunteers assisted in the initial, on-site medical treatment of the animals, including Dr. Phil Bushby, a faculty member at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Andrea Marble, Animal Medical Clinic (Cleveland, Miss.); Dr. Jody Swartzfarger, Lawndale Pet Hospital (Lawndale, Calif.); Dr. Wayne Adams, Adams Vet Clinic (Meridian, Miss.); and Dr. Rebecca Coleman of Memphis, Tenn. Other organizations and individuals assisting include Tailwaggers for Life, Sterile Feral, Mississippi State Animal Response Team, Anna Ware of the Holland M. Ware Foundation and Greg Norred of Norred and Associates.

Tim Rickey, the ASPCA’s Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response at the scene, said many of the animals appeared to be healthy, but some had medical conditions, including heartworms, and were living in communal, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.

“We are glad to have been able to be part of a 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 treated these six--all Lab mixes--we look forward to finding them forever homes.”

On January 6, the ASCPA 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.