Hundreds of "Tornado Pets" Find Forever Homes
Adopt-a-thon finds new, permanent families for over 700 pets.
After surviving the devastating tornadoes in the Joplin, Missouri area, the displaced "tornado pets" have finally found happy endings.
Since May 23, responders had worked around the clock to track down the owners of lost pets through grassroots outreach including flyers, public service announcements, social media outreach, paid advertising, and stories in the media. The mandatory holding period for animals affected by the disaster was even doubled in an effort to reunite as many people and pets as possible.
But 745 animals still awaited a forever home. To address the challenge, the ASPCA and Joplin Humane Society joined forces for a weekend adopt-a-thon event on June 25 and 26. To encourage potential pet parents to consider adoption, fees were waived for the event, and all cats and dogs were spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, and provided an ID tag free of charge.
The response was overwhelming. More than 5,700 people from 24 states rolled into Joplin, to adopt the abandoned pets. "We're completely floored by the amazing outpouring of support," said Joplin native Tim Rickey, the ASPCA's senior director of Field Investigations and Response. "Thanks to the generosity of these wonderful people, the animals left homeless by last month's tornado are sleeping in new beds tonight."
The ASPCA provided emergency sheltering for approximately 1,300 animals during the month-long sheltering period. Nearly 500 animals were reunited with their owners, and several hundred were made available for adoption. Two hundred others, including newborns and injured animals not yet available for adoption, will be made available in the coming weeks.
"The ASPCA is grateful for assistance from agencies across the country in helping us provide aid to rescued animals and making the adoption event a huge success," added Rickey. Eighty-nine animal welfare agencies sent staff and volunteers throughout the operation to support the ASPCA's disaster relief and emergency sheltering efforts.
"There are many sweet and lovable animals waiting patiently for forever homes in a shelter near you," added Karen Aquino, executive director of Joplin Humane Society. "You can make just as meaningful an impact by adopting a pet from your local shelter."
To check out photos of some of these hundreds of happy endings, visit the ASPCA blog.
Have you heard about pets displaced by storms in your area? What do you think of the happy endings from this adopt-a-thon? Tell us below!
4 years ago
Please if you read this, go to Facebook and check-out Bring Hanah Home, this dog was ripped from her owners arms by the tornado, and has been photographed alive after. Spread the word as she may have been taken out of state either in the adoption event or for foster.
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