Salem Shelter, MSPCA Extend Dog Adoption Push With ‘Awwtumn’ Event

Patch News

SALEM, MA — The MSPCA-Angell and the Northeast Animal Shelter of Salem are looking to keep up their record pet adoption pace from this summer amid what officials have called a”euthanasia crisis” nationwide because of overcrowded rescues.

The groups’ collaborative efforts combined to find homes for 732 dogs from June 1 through Aug. 31 — the most ever in a three-month stretch during the MSPCA’s 150-year history.

“The community has really rallied around this crisis,” said Mike Keiley, MSPCA-Angell director of adoption centers and programs. “Finding homes for so many dogs this summer not only allowed us to keep up our robust transport schedule, we also increased the number of dogs we brought here, which provided much-needed relief to shelters in other parts of the country that are overwhelmed by the number of dogs in their care.”

The MSPCA transported 485 dogs to Massachusetts from out-of-state this summer, a nearly 30 percent increase over the same period last year. Through working with shelters mostly in the Southeast part of the country, the MSPCA-Angell and Northeast Animal Shelter have been providing regular rescues from overcapacity shelters and storm-ravaged areas to New England where interest in adopting dogs is still high — albeit off the demand levels of the COVID-19 health crisis.

In order to bring up the pets, however, the MSPCA-Angell and Northeast Animal Shelter must be able to find them forever homes when they get to Massachusetts.

“Relocation is a lifeline that many destination shelters have unfortunately needed to cut back or stop completely because they don’t have space for more dogs,” Keiley added. “We’ve also had many dogs in our care, but we haven’t needed to make those tough choices, and we’re really grateful to the community for that.”

The MSPCA also took in 360 dogs via local surrender this summer — a 32 percent increase over last year — from animal control departments across the state that were getting overwhelmed.

“This slowdown in adoptions is impacting everyone in our field,” Kieley said. “We set out this summer with a goal of helping as many dogs as we possible could and, thanks to the people who’ve stepped up and adopted, we’ve been able to keep up a relentless momentum.

“Unfortunately, the crisis hasn’t slowed down, so we can’t either.”

The latest adoption push — Awwtumn Dog Adoptathon — runs from Sept. 11 through Sept. 17 where larger-breed dogs age 1 year old older will be available for $100 — a savings of at least $250. The adoptathon is designed to ease the financial burden of adopting the dogs.

“We want to do everything we can to eliminate barriers to adoption, and a big roadblock for many right now is cost,” Keiley said. “The down economy and inflation are already forcing people to cut back, and soon many will also have to restart the student loan payments that were paused for over three years.

“These kind of events come at a cost for our own operating budget. But it’s critical that we find homes for more dogs, so we’re doing everything we can to make that happen.”

More information about the Awwtumn Dog Adoptathon may be found here.

(Scott Souza is a Patch field editor covering Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott. He can be reached at [email protected]. X/Twitter: @Scott_Souza.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *