A three-month-old dachshund mix, arriving all the way from Mississippi, was welcomed by an adoring crowd at the ASPCA Adoption Center on Thursday. The pup, named Apple in honor of its new hometown, is the 100,000th animal relocated nationally by the ASPCA since the start of the ASPCA Relocation Program in 2014. The animal group celebrated the milestone by rolling out an orange carpet for her and 18 other dogs who are looking for new furever homes.
“The problem of animal homelessness is very much a geographic one” Matthew Bershadker, CEO and president of ASPCA, explained. “In pockets of the country, we’ve come a long way towards solving that and in pockets of the country, we still need aggressive spay and neuter efforts, [help for] families [to] keep their pets in their home, and creative adoption efforts. What we saw was the need to move animals from areas where they were at risk to areas where they will find loving homes."
Last year, the ASPCA moved 40,000 animals of the 100,000 relocated over the last five years. 400 of those animals came to New York for adoption from across the country.
The 1,200 mile journey from the Oktibbeha County Humane Society in Starkville, Mississippi, to the Upper East Side was no joke. The drivers traveled 10 hours at a time and laid over in Virginia, where the pups were able to rest, stretch their legs, and have a good meal because getting back in the van to head into New York City. When the van arrived, it was greeted with cheers and applause by everyone waiting to see Apple, her pal Curry, and the other dogs.
The ASPCA’s relocation efforts help under-funded local shelters across the country focus their limited resources on a smaller population of animals, by transferring some of the overflow to places where they have a better chance of adoption.
On the adoption center's 5th floor, Apple and Curry, who were both discovered wandering Starkville's streets together, played while reporters attentively documented the playtime. The ASPCA staff hope the two energetic dogs can be adopted together.
Apple, Curry, and the other dogs from Mississippi will be available for adoption within the next few days. If you're interested, contact the ASPCA or visit their website where you can find a local shelter to adopt your own dog or cat.