WASHINGTON, May 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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, 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.
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 Martinsville, Virginia SPCA 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 Star fleet. 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," said Debi 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.
About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education)
As one of America's leading philanthropists, Lois Pope has positively impacted the lives of individuals at the local, national and international levels. She has established three separate organizations dedicated to helping those in need. These organizations are the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., Leaders In Furthering Education (LIFE), and the Disabled Veterans' Life Memorial Foundation. For more than 20 years she has been the driving force behind the Lois Pope LIFE Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine, The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, and a groundbreaking new program with American Humane Association in Palm Beach County. Lois Pope has recently donated two Lois Pope Red Star Rescue Vehicles. Each rescue vehicle is a 50-foot long response unit, complete with a Ford F-350 truck and trailer, which is specifically designed and outfitted to provide an array of animal emergency services and cruelty responses within the region.
Mrs. Pope recently saw the completion of a decade's long dream – the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which was dedicated by President Obama in Washington, DC on Sunday, October 5, 2014. The Memorial will forever stand as a reminder to the public and legislators of the courage and sacrifices of the four million living disabled veterans and all those who died before them for the need to be vigilant in assuring their support, as well as being aware of the human cost of war.
A mother and a grandmother, Lois has trained for and completed five New York City Marathons.
To learn more visit www.life-edu.org or call 561.582.8083.
About North Shore Animal League America
Animal League America has saved more than 1,000,000 lives. As the world's largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization, we understand that a rescue isn't complete until each animal is placed into a loving home. Our innovative programs provide education to reduce animal cruelty and advance standards in animal welfare. We reach across the country to rescue animals from overcrowded shelters, unwanted litters, puppy mills, natural disasters and other emergencies and find them permanent, loving homes.
About Pilots N Paws
Founded in February of 2008, Pilots N Paws has made a difference by saving the lives of more than 75,000 innocent animals. Partnered with Subaru and Petmate, Pilots N Paws is a 501c3 national charitable organization who through the help of more than 5,000 general aviation volunteer pilots transports rescue animals by air free of charge. The mission of Pilots N Paws is to provide a user-friendly website communication venue between those that rescue, shelter, and foster animals and pilots and plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of these animals. The goal of Pilots N Paws is to continue to promote awareness of animal overpopulation and to implement education programs to end this problem in our lifetime.
About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we've invested more than $125 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 8,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay/neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we've helped more than 4.2 million pets find their new loving families, and we're just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.
About A Second Chance Puppies and Kittens Rescue, Inc.
A Second Chance Puppies and Kittens Rescue, founded in October 2007, is a 100% volunteer, foster-based 501(c)(3) non-profit rescue group based in Palm Beach County, Florida. Now in its eighth year, the group has rescued over 8,000 animals and continues to grow rapidly. Accomplishing our goal of saving homeless pets' lives by providing them with safe, healthy foster environments until they are adopted by loving forever families, requires funding to pay for the food and medical needs of the rescued animals. To learn more, please visit www.asecondchancerescue.org.
SOURCE American Humane Association