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For some 150-200 dogs and a handful of cats in Virginia and Alabama, a second chance at life is just a road trip or flight away. From May 26-30, the American Humane Association, the first national humane organization, will be working with and filming two dramatic transports involving North Shore Animal League America, Pilots N Paws, celebrity animal advocate Beth Stern, philanthropist Lois Pope, and others to save some of the 3-4 million animals relinquished to shelters who are euthanized each year.

American Humane Association logo.  (PRNewsFoto/American Humane Association)

American Humane Association logo. (PRNewsFoto/American Humane Association)

On the morning of Tuesday, May 26, one of American Humane Association’s two 50-foot Lois Pope Red Star Rescue vehicles will join a mobile rescue vehicle from North Shore Animal League America at the SPCA of Martinsville, Virginia, where 80-100 dogs will be loaded into the trucks for the drive to North Shore Animal League America’s shelter on Long Island. The dogs will travel in kennels generously donated by the Petco Foundation, who also donated food and water bowls and blankets for these dogs to make the journey as comfortable as possible. Upon arrival in New York, where they will be greeted by celebrity animal advocate Beth Stern (who works with both American Humane Association and North Shore Animal League America), North Shore’s renowned veterinary team will treat the dogs and provide any necessary vaccinations so that the dogs can soon be placed for adoption in forever homes.

Just a few days later on the morning of May 30, the same Lois Pope Red Star Rescue vehicle will travel to Greenville, Alabama, where it will be loaded with another 100 dogs and cats who have been living in local shelters and with foster families. The truck will take them to Mac Crenshaw Memorial Airport where a fleet of 10 private airplanes flown by Pilots N Paws volunteer pilots will meet them and take the dogs to foster families and rescue groups throughout South Florida. American Humane Association will pay for vaccinations and health certificates prior to their flights. Two of these planes carrying 60 dogs will make their way to North Palm Beach Airport, where they will be greeted by a second Lois Pope Red Star Rescue vehicle based in Florida, American Humane Association staff, Beth Stern, and philanthropist Lois Pope herself, who has funded two of the vehicles in the national Red Starfleet. Ms. Stern will be there to take home a mother cat and her five kittens, and foster them at her home in South Florida.

American Humane Association Red Star members will be at the airport to help see that the remaining dogs are placed safely with the local Palm Beach humanitarian group “A Second Chance Puppies and Kittens Rescue,” who will find forever homes for them.

The entire massive coordinated project will be filmed for airing during this fall’s national television broadcast of the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, to shine a light on the situation so many animals face. The film will be hosted by Hero Dog Awards co-host, and longtime North Shore League America volunteer, foster parent and national spokesperson Beth Stern. She has also served as a spokesperson for Hallmark Channel.

“For almost 100 years, our Red Star Rescue team has helped rescue and care for animals in difficult situations, and we are honored to help and to take this story to millions so that it may inspire more people to bring a shelter animal into their lives,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association president and CEO. “Our deepest thanks to everyone who is helping to make this effort possible: North Shore Animal League America, Pilots N Paws, the Petco Foundation, 22 rescue and foster groups, Beth Stern, and, of course, Mrs. Lois Pope, American Humane Association’s light of compassion who has helped us give a second chance to thousands of animals over the years through her generous sponsorship of our Red Star Rescue team, the Hero Dog Awards, and this film.”

“Dogs have always occupied a special place in my heart, and when I learned about the situation in Martinsville and Greenville, I knew we had to do something,” said Mrs. Pope. “I hope this project will inspire many people to adopt more of the millions of animals so they can experience the love and the lives they deserve.”

“We are excited to work in collaboration with the American Humane Association on our latest large-scale rescue to save the lives of nearly 100 animals that might have been euthanized,” said Joanne Yohannan, Senior Vice President of Operations, North Shore Animal League America. “North Shore Animal League America began its humane relocation program over three decades ago and has a long standing relationship with SPCA of Martinsville-Henry County.  For the past 20 years we have working together to save the lives of over 20,000 homeless dogs and cats in Virginia and the surrounding area.”

“I’m so excited to be part of this large scale rescue operation that will save the lives of nearly two hundred homeless animals,” said Beth Stern. “I encourage everybody to adopt an animal from their local shelter rather than buying one.”

“It is a life changing experience for me to participate in this combined rescue event,” saidDebi Boies, founder and president of Pilots N Paws. “Working side by side with the American Humane Association’s Lois Pope Red Star team, and numerous rescue organizations, our volunteer pilots are making flights and saving lives. It’s heartwarming to look into the eyes of these precious animals and see that the fear is gone as they head to their new lives.”

To follow the progress of the transportation and to see pictures from the road and sky, please visit American Humane Association’s Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/AmericanHumane and follow them on Twitter @AmericanHumane. To learn more about the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, please visit www.HeroDogAwards.org.

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The holiday season is a time to surround yourself with loved ones—and pets are no exception. Through Blue Buffalo’s Home 4 the Holidays campaign, the company today announced the initiative reached this year’s holiday goal of finding a forever home for one million deserving dogs and cats throughout the world. In celebration of reaching this year’s goal, an adopting family will be gifted with a one-year supply of Blue Buffalo product for their new pet and the participating shelter will receive 2,500 pounds of food.

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“I can’t think of a more amazing holiday gift—already reaching our goal of finding homes for one million orphan pets, so soon after we kicked off this year’s Home 4 the Holidays campaign,” said David Petrie, Vice President at Blue Buffalo. “We are extremely grateful that a million new pet parents will experience the joy of rescuing a dog or cat this holiday season, and share in the love we have for our pets all year long.”

More families bring home new pets during the holiday season than any other time of year. With so many homeless pets across the country, Blue Buffalo partnered with the Helen Woodward Animal Center (Rancho Santa Fe, California) for the Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign. Home 4 the Holidays is a three-month adoption drive that aims to save the lives of orphan pets and raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption during the holiday season. Blue Buffalo and the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s partnership created a coalition of more than 4,000 pet adoption agencies, facilities and rescue groups – each eager to find welcoming homes for a new, furry family member.

Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays strives to educate the public about the importance of choosing pet adoption. The partnership of Blue Buffalo, the Helen Woodward Animal Center, and the score of participating pet shelters and adoption centers has helped make Home 4 the Holidays the largest pet adoption program on record. The program has helped save more than nine million pets since its inception in 1999.

“Words cannot begin to express how it warms my heart to think of one million orphan pets now enjoying their loving adoptive homes this holiday season as a result of the Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign,” saidMike Arms, President and CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center. “It is truly inspiring to see what can be accomplished with the support of this special partnership that has formed between our friends at Blue Buffalo and our thousands of participating animal organizations around the world.”

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The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that 68,805 dogs and cats were adopted during the three-month 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, an increase of 16,789 over the same period last year. Over the five years of the $100K Challenge – held annually since 2010 – contestants saved a total of 282,679 lives.

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“When we mapped out the design of this contest six years ago, we were aiming to inspire new innovations and dramatic increases in lives saved,” says Bert Troughton, vice president of strategic initiatives at the ASPCA. “The rest was up to the more than 200 shelters who’ve competed over the last five years, and they knocked it out of the park. Not only did they increase lives saved by nearly 60,000, but they’ve redefined what’s possible and given shelters everywhere both hope and new, successful strategies for saving more lives.”

The ASPCA and Rachael Ray today awarded this year’s $100,000 grand prize to Central California SPCA inFresno, Calif. and a $25,000 Community Engagement Award to Kansas City Pet Project in Kansas City, Mo. In total, $550,000 in grant funding was awarded today to help competing shelters continue to save even more lives, and more than $2 million has been awarded to shelters in 38 states during the five years of the contest.

All her life, Rachael Ray has been an advocate for animals and a supporter of animal welfare groups. Her love for animals and for her pit bull, Isaboo, inspired her to create a pet food called Nutrish® to raise money for animals in need. Ray donates her proceeds from the sale of Nutrish® to organizations like the ASPCA so they can implement programs like the $100K Challenge and support shelters and animal organizations around the country.

The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a groundbreaking contest that challenges animal shelters across the country to come up with innovative ways to engage their communities and get more homeless cats and dogs into loving homes. For information about the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, please visit www.aspca.org/100K.

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Brought to you in June by the American Humane Association

Each spring during “kitten season,” thousands of newborn kittens join the millions of cats already in shelters across the country. That means your local shelter has tons of cute, cuddly newborns, in addition to all the mellow, older cats and everything in between. And the shelter’s staff are ready to help you adopt your very first cat — or to bring home a friend for another beloved cat.

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Here is the AHA’s Top 10 Checklist for Adopting a Cat

  1. If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two. Cats require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two cats can provide this for each other. Plus they’ll provide more benefits to you. Cats’ purring has been shown to soothe humans as well as themselves – and they have an uncanny ability to just make you smile. A great place to start your search is online. Sites like petfinder.com let you search numerous shelters in your area simultaneously to help narrow your search and more quickly find the match that’s right for you and your new feline friend.
  2. Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. Just as we each have our own personality, so do cats. In general, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are typically more active. Adoption counselors can offer advice to help you match the cat’s personality with your own.
  3. Select a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption. You’ll want to take any medical records you received from the adoption center on your first visit. Kittens in particular should accompany you to make the appointment – even before the exam itself – so staff can pet the cat and tell you that you’ve chosen the most beautiful one ever.
  4. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before it comes home.Visiting the shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair. When adopting a new cat with existing pets at home, discuss with the adoption facility how to make a proper introduction.
  5. Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat. Understand any pet is a responsibility and there’s a cost associated with that. A cat adopted from a shelter is a bargain; many facilities will have already provided spaying or neutering, initial vaccines, and a microchip for permanent identification.
  6. Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives. Be prepared so your new cat can start feeling at home right away. Your cat will need a litter box, cat litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush and nail clippers.
  7. Cat-proof your home. A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will serve to teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your cat might chew on, watch to ensure the kitten isn’t chewing on electric cords, and pick up random items like paper clips (which kittens may swallow).
  8. Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family. It can take several weeks for a cat to relax in a new environment. It’s a great idea to keep the new addition secluded to a single room (with a litter box, food and water, toys, and the cat carrier left out and open with bedding inside) until the cat is used to the new surroundings; this is particularly important if you have other pets. If you’ve adopted a kitten, socialization is very important. But remember – take it slow.
  9. Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. You probably have a plan in place for getting your family to safety in case of an emergency. Adjust this plan to include your pets. Add phone numbers for your veterinarian and closest 24-hour animal hospital to your “in-case-of-emergency” call list.
  10. If you’re considering giving a cat as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process. Though well-meaning, the surprise kitty gift doesn’t allow for a “get-to know-one-another” period. Remember, adopting a cat isn’t like purchasing a household appliance or a piece of jewelry – this is a real living, breathing, and emotional being.

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North Shore Animal League America – the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization – announced that over 2,000 shelters in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and eight international territories will join together for Pet Adoptathon Month in June, sponsored by Purina®.

North Shore Animal League Pet Adoptathon

North Shore Animal League America will kick off the event at Pet Adoptathon Headquarters in Port Washington, NY at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 31st and remain open for 36 straight hours.  Thousands of participating shelters will host weekend Pet Adoptathon events promoting the benefits of shelter pet adoptions and showcasing hundreds of thousands of adorable puppies, kittens, dogs and cats available for adoption. Pet Adoptathon activities will run through the month of June nationwide in an effort to raise awareness for shelter animals and save more lives.  Since its inception in 1995, Pet Adoptathon events have taken place all over the world, helping find permanent and loving homes for over half a million animals.

“North Shore Animal League America and all of the rescue organizations involved in Pet Adoptathon share a common goal to bring awareness to the plight of homeless animals world-wide,” said Vice President of Operations Joanne Yohannan. “Together we will save the lives of over a hundred thousand homeless animals. Join us and save a life – adopt!”

An estimated 5 million – 7 million dogs, cats, puppies and kittens enter United Statesshelters annually, and tragically 3 – 4 million of these precious animals are euthanized.  Millions of lives can be saved when potential pet parents make the choice to adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue group, instead of purchasing a pet from a pet store.

Pet Adoptathon is made possible thanks to the support of Presenting Sponsor Purina®. For more information on Pet Adoptathon Month or to find a participating shelter near you, please visit www.AnimalLeague.org.

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Hey girl – meet the love of your life at New Leash on Life Chicago.

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New Leash on Life Chicago is a 100% volunteer run, non-profit organization committed to finding loving homes for shelter dogs who might otherwise be euthanized. More information on all dogs can be found at New Leash on Life Chicago. Instagram: nlolchicago. Facebook: http://www.nlolchicago.org.

Thank you to the following groups and people for their photos and work they do to save rescue dogs everyday.

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For animal lovers considering adding a pet to their home, Petco recommends going the eco-friendly route by adopting a furry friend. Adopt a pet during Petco’s National Adoption Weekend taking place at stores nationwide April 5-6, 2014, and discover the many benefits adoption has on our environment. Pets, like humans, inevitably impact our planet. Adopting a pet helps reduce the already overcrowded pet population in shelters, therefore opening space for more homeless pets to be saved.

PETCO LOGO

Adopting a dog, cat or companion animal is the ultimate way to recycle while gaining a loveable best friend who provides unconditional love. Adoption also makes “going green” easy for pet parents since it’s common for rescue animals to already be spayed or neutered, which is vitally important in decreasing the number of homeless pets that end up in shelters. With more than 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day in the United States, there is sure to be one out there for any family looking to add a pet to their home.

Adopting an animal from a local Petco is a great way for families to experience the rewarding feeling that comes with saving an animal’s life. For anyone ready to welcome a new pet into their life, Petco and Unleashed by Petco locations nationwide will be hosting adoption events the weekend of April 5-6, 2014. And, to help get new pet parents off on the right paw, Hill’s Science Diet will be sponsoring the National Adoption Weekend and plans to give all adopting pet parents a free 5 lb. bag of Hill’s Science Diet dog or cat food or a free can of Hill’s Science Diet dog or cat food.

Pet adoption event times vary, so it’s recommended to contact the nearest location for adoption hours. For more information on local adoption events, visit www.petco.com/adoptions.

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By all accounts, Berkshire Humane Society ‘s (Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201) first satellite adoption at Sand Road Animal Hospital was an overwhelming success. Three cats, one hamster, and one dog are now living in their new forever homes.

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Cindy H. adopted Margo, who had been with BHS since September 2013, from our Sand Road adoption clinic.

Besides providing a beautiful space and much hospitality for the event at their hospital in Fall Village, CT, the staff also held a bake sale to benefit the shelter and its program. And some of our Humane Heroes were on hand to help collect food and other supplies for BHS’s Community Pet Food Bank.

Danielle Hammell, shelter manager at Purradise Feline Adoption Center and organizer of this event, says, “We want to thank everyone for their help and their support. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Sand Road Animal Hospital and holding other adoptions there.

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Tom Peacock Nissan, Houston’s number one volume Nissan dealership, will be hosting their Second Annual We Love Pets Mega Adoption Event this Saturday, February 15th, 2014. The event will take place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Tom Peacock Nissan, located at 15300 Interstate 45 (exit 63 toward Airtex Drive). Tom Peacock Nissan is going to pay the adoption fee for each animal adopted at this event.

Tom Peacock Nissan is committed to taking an active role in the community, participating in several charity functions throughout the year, but their partnership with the Houston SPCA is one that is very special to them. To date, Tom Peacock Nissan has hosted three mobile adoption events and at each event they cover the adoption fees for every animal adopted. That saves families an average of $129 dollars. The mobile adoption events that are hosted at the dealership have resulted in fifty-eight animals finding forever homes.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host another pet adoption event for the Houston SPCA,” said Sam Miranda, Owner Loyalty Manager at Tom Peacock Nissan. “We work hard throughout the year to give back to our community; it’s very important to us that we are able to make a difference in the lives of others while providing them with a trusted name when it comes to purchasing a new or used vehicle…we’re looking forward to a really great time this Saturday at our Mega Adoption Event,” Miranda added.

Each animal adoption includes a new companion, a health evaluation, a HomeAgain microchip, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, deworming, one adoption gift courtesy of Hill’s Science Diet, and the pet’s first exam for free. BarkBox, a New York based company which delivers boxes to subscribers each month, complete with gourmet treats, bones, and hygiene products has also made a generous donation of pet supplies for the event.

The Second Annual We Love Pets Mega Adoption Event will feature puppies, small dogs, large dogs, kittens and cats all of which are eligible for adoption. The event will be complete with music, food and refreshments.

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Lucky Dog Animal Rescue (LDAR) was honored to be featured in a Sky News broadcast seen around the world. The story follows the journey of more than 30 dogs from a high-kill shelter in South Carolina to Washington, DC, where Lucky Dog Animal Rescue finds them loving, forever homes.

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Image courtesy of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue

Daryl, a beautiful black lab mix, was one such lucky dog. Less than 24 hours after arriving from a kill-shelter, Daryl found her forever family at a Lucky Dog adoption event.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Sky News help spread our story,” said Mirah Horowitz, founder and executive director of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. “Part of our mission is to educate people about the problems of pet overpopulation, the importance of adoption, and the need for spay/neuter laws. Anything that helps us get that word out is incredibly important. Daryl had a happy ending, but she was a lucky one. Millions of dogs and cats die each year without such luck.”

Each week LDAR receives a transport of animals from shelters in Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Puerto Rico and beyond. Every animal is unique and LDAR is committed to not just finding these animals a home – but the right home. When the animals arrive, LDAR’s network of over 1,000 volunteers works tirelessly to find these animals their forever homes.

To adopt a Lucky Dog or Cat, to volunteer, or to donate in support of LDAR, visit the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue web site.

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