ASPCA’s (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) national Animal Relocation Program marked a significant achievement by transporting its 200,000th shelter animal. The ASPCA currently relocates more homeless animals than any other organization by working with overcrowded shelters in under-resourced areas of the country, most often in the South, to relocate their animals to other shelters, most often in the North, where those animals have greater chances of being adopted into loving homes.
The milestone dog, Noah, a 1-year-old, male cattle dog/Basenji mix, arrived to a celebration at Second Chance Animal Services’ “Almost Home” transport center in North Brookfield, Massachusetts. Noah’s trip began at the Mobile SPCA in Mobile, Alabama, where he was loaded onto the Nancy Silverman Rescue Ride on Saturday, March 26. The ASPCA then drove all 37 dogs to Mobile Regional Airport, where they boarded their lifesaving ASPCA flight to Massachusetts. After a brief stop in Mississippi to allow additional shelter dogs to board the flight, all 70 pets were on their way to the ASPCA’s shelter partners in Massachusetts. The flight landed safely at the Worcester Regional Airport in Worcester, Massachusetts, and from there the Nancy Silverman Rescue Ride drove Noah and his travel companions to Second Chance Animal Services, where he will soon be available for adoption.
“Noah’s story and this incredible milestone represent the dedication and hard work of many people and partners committed to securing new opportunities for homeless animals who need second chances in new settings to survive and thrive,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA president and CEO. “Animal relocation—by ground and by air—continues to be a highly effective way to help vulnerable animals find loving homes they need and deserve.”
Found in Wilmer, Alabama, Noah entered the Mobile County Animal Shelter until he was transferred to Mobile SPCA for the next step in his journey of finding a home. Mobile SPCA staff knew he would be a perfect fit for transport to Massachusetts as his friendly and energetic demeanor would make him a great pet for a new family.
Since the ASPCA Animal Relocation Program launched in 2014, the ASPCA has made more than 8,200 trips, including nearly 7,000 by transport vehicle and more than 1,200 by plane, working with over 140 partner shelters and five waystations to move 200,000 animals from 18 states, including more than 150,000 dogs and nearly 50,000 cats.
The establishment and growth of the ASPCA Animal Relocation Program is made possible by the generous support of ASPCA donor, Nancy K. Silverman. Her contributions have played a significant role in making the ASPCA the country’s largest national transporter of animals. In the program’s first year in 2014, the ASPCA moved more than 7,000 animals, but with Nancy’s support, it has grown to transport more than 30,000 shelter pets annually. Since 2015, Nancy’s contributions have helped 95,000 homeless animals move to areas where adoptable pets are in high demand.
“Every time I hear the story of an animal like Noah given new chances for adoption thanks to a relocation, I’m so thankful for this program and for the chance to expand its reach even further,” said Nancy K. Silverman. “When you have overcrowding in one place and opportunity in another, it’s obvious how connecting those dots will save lives, and I appreciate all of the dedicated transport and shelter partners across the country who contribute to this milestone and many more to come.”
“We’re grateful for Nancy’s critical support. Her compassion and generosity have helped the ASPCA Relocation Program become the country’s largest national transporter of animals in need, putting tens of thousands of vulnerable dogs and cats each year on more viable paths to adoption,” Bershadker said.
The ASPCA’s relocation efforts provide resources, support, and training to both source and destination shelters. The ASPCA Animal Relocation Program strives to not only reduce overcrowding at partner shelters but also to help shelters create and strengthen programs that will have a long-term effect on animal welfare in the surrounding community. The ASPCA works with partner shelters to provide the assistance and guidance necessary to keep all animals safe and healthy during transport.
The ASPCA Animal Relocation Program’s 200,000th milestone flight from Alabama to Massachusetts was sponsored by Baby Doge, a mission-founded cryptocurrency. Baby Doge is the ASPCA’s first brand partner to fund animal transport flights, and they have committed to sponsoring several flights throughout 2022. In addition to helping shelter animals find loving homes more quickly, these lifesaving flights also enable the ASPCA to remove animals from harm’s way during its response efforts following devastating natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.