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101 Mini Mutt-i-grees® are Among the Nearly 300 Dogs and Puppies that will be Saved through North Shore Animal League America’s National Cooperative Pet Rescue (CPR) Program

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Media & Communications Department
Phone: (516) 883-7900, Ext. 482
Mobile: (516) 528-7878

Animal Rescue Groups from Coast to Coast Partner
in a Lifesaving Effort to Save Dogs and Puppies
from Certain Death

PORT WASHINGTON, NY, April 25, 2011 – Over 8 Million animals live in shelters nationwide, and nearly 4 million are euthanized each year. That is half of the homeless animal population – and many die just due to the fact they don’t have a home. There are over 3,000 overcrowded breeding operations, which are responsible for supplying puppies to most of the pet stores across the United States and contribute heavily to the pet overpopulation problem.

North Shore Animal League America’s Cooperative Pet Rescue program, also known as CPR, is a national lifesaving effort that is changing the fate of helpless animals that are at risk of being euthanized at shelters or inhumanly slaughtered at puppy mills. Since the program’s inception two years ago, it has continued to grow and develop new partnerships, and by the end of this year it is expected that over 2,000 animals’ lives will have been saved.

Over the next two weeks, through its CPR program, puppies and dogs will make their way across the country and will be brought to safety at North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization.

The first arrivals will include dogs saved from overcrowded municipal shelters in Los Angeles through funding by the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation. Many of these rescued animals are healthy Chihuahua mixed breeds that are originally purchased from pet stores and then cast away after the dog is no longer a puppy. Fortunately for these lucky mini Mutt-i-grees, they are highly desirable in the Northeast and will generally find homes very quickly, saving them from being euthanized.

In addition, dogs from Missouri commercial breeding facilities, commonly referred to as puppy mills, will also find their way to the Animal League’s safe haven by means of partner National Mill Dog Rescue. Many of these purebred dogs are used strictly as breeding stock. While the little puppy in the window looks cute and sweet, its parents, the breeder dogs, remain living a life-sentence of cruel and inhumane treatment at the mill facility. Many of these animals suffer and are neglected, and those that can no longer produce are typically killed or sold at mill dog auctions for as little as 25 cents.

“The very idea that someone can actually turn their back after they look into the eyes of these beautiful creatures, knowing that it is suffering because it needs medical care, or is dehydrated or is sad and craving love, just pains me,” said Joanne Yohannan, SVP Operations for North Shore Animal League America.

While many of the puppies who come from these commercial breeding facilities, and are sold to pet stores generally survive, unfortunately that is not the case for puppies in the southern region. Because of the lack of spay and neuter practices, many of the shelters are over-run with puppies and it is appalling to know that hundreds of canines under the age of 3 months are euthanized daily. In some cases these healthy babies are killed inhumanely by gassing, drowning and even shooting. In an effort to save even more lives the Animal League rescues and transports dozens of beautiful Mutt-i-gree puppies to its facility every week.

Yohannan stresses that not only will these rescued puppies be saved, but their arrival may actually save an adult animals’ life. She said that puppies bring such an abundance of life to the adoption center and they also bring adopters, “Many times visitors come in with the idea of finding the perfect puppy. But what may happen is that the adopter may not be able to go though all of the training to raise a puppy, and will ultimately end up falling in love with an adult pet. It’s guaranteed that the little puppy will go home very soon after, but in the meantime this older, harder to adopt pet has found its new family.”

She also pointed out that having puppies available every week, prevents potential adopters from purchasing animals from pet stores, which is one of the reasons why the CPR Program is so important and so successful.

All of the recently rescued puppies and dogs upon arrival to North Shore Animal League America will be thoroughly evaluated medically, behaviorally and socially, and will be spayed or neutered prior to adoption. They will be available for adoption on Saturday, April 30th.

As the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, The Animal League’s hands-on work isn't complete until each and every one of the animals is rescued, rehabilitated and adopted into a loving home. For more information on the rescued puppies and dogs or North Shore Animal League America’s Cooperative Pet Rescue (CPR) Program, please visit

About North Shore Animal League America
The Animal League has saved almost 1,000,000 lives. As the world¹s 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. Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly in the pursuit of our vision of a world where all companion animals find permanent homes to end euthanasia.

About National Mill Dog Rescue
National Mill Dog Rescue pledged to put an end to the cruelty and evil of the commercial breeding industry, also more commonly known as puppy mills. They do this through educating the public about puppy mills and letting them know that buying dogs in a pet store is wrong. There are many reputable breeders and shelters from which to get dogs. Since its existence February of 2007, they have rescued over 3,500 dogs and puppies from living a life of cruelty at puppy mills.

About The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation
The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation was founded by Nancy and Katherine Heigl to celebrate the memory of a wonderful son and brother. In 1986, Jason was killed in a car accident. He was fifteen years old. Throughout his brief lifetime Jason loved all animals, especially dogs and cats and monkeys. He lived his life extending compassion and kindness to all creatures great and small. This foundation is his legacy. The mission of the JDHF is to eliminate the needless suffering inflicted on animals by human cruelty, indifference, and ignorance. Our primary focus is the greater Los Angeles area, for now.

North Shore Animal League America - Home of the Mutt-i-gree® - headquartered in Port Washington, NY, is the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the world. The Animal League reaches across the country to rescue, nurture and adopt 20,000 pets into happy and loving homes each year. Over the past decade, the Animal League saved over 200,000 lives and has saved 1,000,000 animals since its inception. “Like” us at, follow us at To learn more about animal rescue and welfare, visit

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