Moving Toward a Brighter Future: ASPCA Animal Relocation Program Transports Record Number of Animals

January 30, 2017

There’s no doubt about it: 2016 was a banner year for the ASPCA. Our tireless team worked around-the-clock to rescue, protect, and find loving homes for thousands of animals across the nation, and we could not be more proud of all that we accomplished. But it’s important to remember that these achievements signify more than just numbers and statistics—they represent real animals whose lives have been changed for the better by the work that we do. That’s why, today, we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on the record-breaking work of the ASPCA Animal Relocation program.

Now in its sixth year, the ASPCA Animal Relocation program is a life-saving program that transports shelter animals from areas where likelihood of adoption is lower to locations where they have a better chance at finding a home. It’s an incredible process that requires not just dedicated staff and volunteers, but also a constant stream of pet carriers, food and supplies, and—quite often—a combination of vans, trucks and even airplanes.  

On the East Coast, our Nancy Silverman Rescue Ride (NSRR) program moved an incredible 8,951 animals in 2016, from areas in the Southeast to areas in the Northeast where the demand for adoptable animals is higher. One such animal was Rosa.

Rosa came from a shelter in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was selected for an NSRR transport on September 22, heading to a shelter in New Jersey. Just two days later, she was adopted. Rosa’s new life came with an official new name—Rosa Parks—and her family soon reported to the New Jersey shelter that she “adjusted great” into their home and that everyone had fallen in love with her. In fact, not only did they say that they spoil Rosa rotten, but they also said they take her everywhere except to church! 

Rosa with her family

Rosa with her new loving family. They really do take her everywhere!

Our Los Angeles Relocation Team also had an incredible year. You may recall some of their past passengers like Teddy and Arcadia, who contributed to a whopping grand total of 7,825 animals transported, and now we are happy to introduce you to Olivia.


Olivia at an adoption event in Los Angeles. Despite her sweet nature (and adorable outfit) she had no luck finding a home.

Olivia is a very sweet nine-year-old pit bull who quickly became a staff favorite during her time at a Los Angeles County animal shelter. Despite her incredibly loving nature—and a trip to a wonderful adoption event held by political Assemblyman David Hadley—she simply couldn’t find a home. As months went by, the ASPCA Relocation Team feverishly networked her story and photo before finally getting word that a new life was waiting for her in Southwest Washington. Olivia got a seat on the next transport north, and shortly after her arrival she was adopted by an amazing family. The sweet senior dog is now living a happy life in her new home—and even she has a new brother to call her own, too!

Olivia with her new brother, Boss.

Olivia with her new brother, Boss.

“What the Relocation Team truly loves about our work is being able to see the bigger picture and focusing on what matters most: the happy result of a life saved and an addition of a new family member,” says Lance Hunter, the ASPCA’s Director of Shelter Outreach in Los Angeles.

In total, the ASPCA Animal Relocation program transported 16,776 animals in 2016—a 115% percent increase from the previous year that blew our 11,000-animal goal out of the water.

“Our team is thrilled to have been able to impact so many lives through relocation last year,” says Kristen Limbert, Director of Relocation at the ASPCA. “So often, just a change of venue—a new zip code and a new community of potential adopters—makes all the difference for an animal. For many of them, this is a life or death situation—literally a life-saving ride to new opportunities.  We are so proud to have played a part in that, and look forward to saving thousands more in 2017!”  

We are incredibly proud of these accomplishments, and of the many, many happy tails that came out of this work. The ASPCA Relocation team looks forward to another year of continuing to “move” us all toward a future where every animal has a home.