Driving Up Dog Adoptions, “Tour For Life” Hits the Road Today

This morning, in partnership with Purina One, North Shore Animal League America sent off two"shelters on wheels" for its annual"Tour For Life" national life-saving event....


This morning, in partnership with Purina One, North Shore Animal League America sent off two”shelters on wheels” for its annual”Tour For Life” national life-saving event.

To kick off the world’s largest cooperative mobile pet adoption event, the country’s largest no-kill animal shelter couldn’t have picked a better, more appropriate day than today, “Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet Day.” Like today’s blog hop, the Tour For Life will help drive up dog adoptions (and cat adoptions too).

Except the Tour For Life is literally driving, criss-crossingAmerica in two Mobile Adoption Units (MAUs). TheAnimal Leagueoperates a fleet of six MAUs: flashy, 40-foot-long, fully-loaded, RV-style coachescustomized so adoptable K9s (and felines) can travel in first-class comfort to their dream destination: a forever home. The vehicleswill travel simultaneously across the country for the next five weeks, one driving west-to-east and the other south-to-north.

Along their routes, the MAUs will partner with more than 100 shelters and rescue groups in 38 cities in 19 states. These “shelters on wheels” will cover over 13,000 miles and help save the lives of thousands of adoptable all-American animals around the country through humane education and mobile adoption events.

Among those present for the send-off at the Animal League’s Port Washington campus were Beth Stern, left, Animal League spokesperson, and Broadway actress Orfeh. Tour For Life’s official spokesperson, Wynonna Judd, couldn’t make it to New York this morning.

But, since an undertaking like this could always use a boost from a higher power, the Animal League had this aspect very well covered. On hand to bless the MAUs and the rescue teamswere Rabbi Mishkin of Temple Beth Israel and Father Peterson of Our Lady of Fatima. With so much divine energy, the MAUs are bound to do a lot of good out there on the road!

Sometimes,we humanstend tooverlook the gems hiding in plain sight in our own backyard -even ifthey arebona fide diamonds in the “ruff.” That’s the case with literally millions of shelter dogs around the country.Your local animal shelteris the first and best place to find a perfect-for-youfamily dog; but sadly,shelters, especially ones in rural areas,don’t get nearly enough visitors or word-of-mouth. And so, wonderful dogs languish and die – not because people inthe community didn’t care, but because they just weren’t aware of the dogs’existence, or howeasy it is tohelp.
It’s a tragic waste, and it’s happening in communities from coast to coast. Happily, North Shore Animal League is – like Petfinder -driven to do somethingabout it.
Last April, near the end of the 2010 Tour For Life, 43 animals from six West Texas shelters boarded one of the Animal League’s MAUs, which ferried them to a high-profile spot 10 feet from the entrance to the Abilene Wal-Mart. All of the dogs and cats were adopted within five hours! To fully comprehend the life-saving importance of this, every one of those animals had previously been scheduled to be put to sleep the very next morning.
Shelter dogs are more than furry faces in the crowd; they’re rock stars waiting to be discovered.TheTour for Lifeplucks these one-of-a-kind American idols from obscurity; givesthem a ride instate-of-the-art, climate-controlled, tour buses; and brings them out for public appearances, where they can meetadoring fans: the potential adoptersready to give them the loving homes they so deserve.
During a co-operative mobile adoption event, the pets are treated like the VIPs they are. They have refreshments, relief walks and roadies – the MAU drivers, who handling their chargeswith ultra-protective TLC and take care of their every want and need during their stay on the MAU, which averages 5 hours.They even get complimentary hair styling to make them even more adoptable!

This column will be sure toupdate you on the happy adoption tails that result from this year’s Tour For Life. In the meantime, Happy Adopt the Internet Day!

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