In the midst of lockdown loneliness, pet adoptions have surged. Earlier this year, NBC launched a nationwide campaign dubbed “Clear the Shelters,” which has seen some 140,611 pets adopted to date throughout the United States since August.
Over 130 rescued dogs and cats arrived in New Jersey earlier this month, where the Morristown Airport accepted a special delivery from Puerto Rico.
These soon-to-be-adopted pets touched down on Oct. 10 thanks to the hard work of the Sato Project, Wings of Rescue, Grounds and Hounds, and Greater Good Charities.
After being rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico, where earthquakes and tropical storms have impacted already-overburdened shelters, the stray cats and dogs will soon find forever homes in New Jersey and the surrounding area.
Most of the animals were prematched with would-be pet owners before boarding the plane, and many families were able to greet their furry new additions at the airport.
The remaining animals that were not prematched can be adopted from the Broward County Humane, Humane Pennsylvania, and Kent Animal Shelter.
The pandemic continues to make pet adoption a struggle in Puerto Rico—in addition to daily earthquakes and hurricane threats—yet the Sato Project’s efforts have rescued several large groups of stray animals in the past few months.
In conjunction with Clear the Shelters, the Sato Project transported dozens of dogs from Puerto Rico to New York on Aug. 31, where they were also able to find loving homes.
Volunteers have been matchmaking all year and noted a surge of applications during the pandemic.
Chrissy Beckles, founder and president of the Sato Project, told NBC that there are roughly half a million stray dogs in need of a home in Puerto Rico, where shelters average at a 94 percent euthanasia rate.
“There are shelters [in New York] that don’t have any adoptable dogs,” she said. “Which is the greatest position in the world to be in.”
Over the past decade, the Sato Project has rescued approximately 5,000 stray dogs.
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