ASPCA Increases Efforts to Place 'Tornado Pets'
Joplin adopt-a-thon will seek homes for nearly 600 pets.
Nearly 600 animals in Joplin, Missouri, are still awaiting permanent homes after being displaced by the May 22 tornado that tore through the area. Fortunately, the ASPCA is ramping up efforts to find these pets loving, forever homes.
On June 25 and June 26, the ASPCA and the Joplin Humane Society are hosting a major adoption event aimed at encouraging individuals from coast to coast to come and find their next four-legged family member.
Several incentives are helping to ensure that the adoption process is as quick and streamlined as possible. Adoption fees are being waived for this event, and adoptable animals will be spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, and provided an ID tag free of charge. Additionally, the ASPCA animal behavior team has evaluated all the dogs to assess temperament and personality in order to make the best possible match with potential adopters.
Ideally, these animals might have been reunited with their owners, but despite the best efforts of rescue workers, some individuals have simply not stepped forward to claim their pets. Since May 23, the day following the devastating tornado, the ASPCA and Joplin Humane Society have been working around the clock to track down the owners of lost pets through grassroots outreach, paid advertising including flyers, ads, public service announcements, and stories in the media. The mandatory 14-day holding period for animals affected by the disaster was even doubled in an effort to reunite as many people and pets as possible.
And now, rescue workers say that with each passing day, the best hope for these animals is a new, loving forever home.
"After a month of housing and caring for the animal victims of this disaster, our focus now is on finding loving homes for the remaining cats and dogs," said Joplin native Tim Rickey, the ASPCA's senior director of Field Investigations and Response. "We hope people from across the country will open their hearts and give them a second lease on life."
"The outpouring of support from the local community has helped us connect hundreds of displaced animals with their owners, and we thank everyone for their heroic efforts," added Karen Aquino, executive director of Joplin Humane Society. "Our goal now is to find families who will adopt the remaining four-legged tornado survivors, which is in everyone's best interests."
"Over the past week, the number of people coming to the emergency shelter to look for and claim lost pets has dwindled to a trickle," added Rickey, who also noted that even in the best of circumstances, conditions in an emergency shelter are never ideal. "Having suffered and survived a disaster of this magnitude and spending weeks in a temporary shelter, these animals have demonstrated an incredible level of resilience and are more than ready for the comforts of a permanent home."
More Information on the ASPCA/Joplin Humane Society Weekend Adopt-a-thon for Tornado Pets:
WHEN: Saturday & Sunday, June 25 and June 26; 10 a.m. -- 8 p.m.
WHERE: Emergency Animal Shelter located next to the Joplin Humane Society (140 E. Emperor Lane, Joplin, MO 64801)
HOW: Potential adopters should bring with them one government-issued photo ID (i.e. driver's license, passport, military ID, or non-driver ID) and proof of address.
What do you think of the effort to find homes for these tornado pets? Do you know of someone who has adopted a displaced pet? Tell us below!
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