As the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization, North Shore Animal League America has been saving the lives of precious dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens since 1944—well over one million to date.
Not only do we make it a point to care for the local animals in our own backyard, but thanks to collaborative efforts with our shelter partners and rescue groups across the country and around the globe, we are often able to spearhead large-scale rescues that save the lives of animals from all over the world. Late last week, thanks to a loyal donor, we were fortunate enough to team up with Project Street Dogs to rescue 13 homeless puppies from more than 8,500 miles away in Thailand. Living in squalor among the filth of landfills, overcrowded streets, and cramped alleyways, these poor animals are left to slowly die without food, water, or any basic medical care.
At Animal League America we believe that the life of every companion animal is worth saving regardless of where they happen to reside, so going the extra mile to assist in rescues of this magnitude is all part of a day’s work.
“We’ve organized the transport of more than 50 dogs and puppies from Thailand since the spring of 2016. We’d love to take more because the living conditions for these animals over there are terrible, but it’s very costly,” said Cindy Szczudlo, Animal League America Director of Rescue Services. “When you add up the price of climate controlled cargo flights, as well as medical care and boarding for some of the dogs prior to arrival, you’re looking at thousands of dollars for every rescue. Thankfully we have the support of amazing donors, who continue to help us do the lifesaving work we do.”
This ever-growing problem was so near and dear to this donor’s heart that they asked that all of the funds be dedicated to this particular initiative, which will include collaborating with Project Street Dogs on several other rescue missions throughout the year. It costs Animal League America between $300-400 for every puppy or dog we rescue from Thailand – a hefty price tag for are a non-profit organization that relies heavily on our donors and supporters to fund our life-saving operation. That’s why we are so thankful to have donors who truly care about supporting our no-kill mission.
Located in the city of Hua Hin, Project Street Dogs is one of the few sources of hope for these helpless animals. The organization, which was founded in May of 2011, has steadily become one of the most well-respected rescue groups in the area through their commitment to reducing the population of stray dogs with sterilization. Animal League America Rescue Team Leader, Karla Agostinello, who has played a vital role in our collaborative rescue efforts with our international rescue partners, said without our loyal supporters and donors, as well as a network of dedicated foster parents, these long-distance rescue efforts would not be possible.
“Thousands upon thousands of dogs are living among garbage and filth with little to no hope of leading fulfilling lives. That’s why when we connected with the people from Project Street Dogs, we knew we had to do whatever we could to help,” said Karla. “These animals are not just living on the streets, but many of them are injured, sick and in real need of medical attention. If not for the rescue organizations over there doing what they do, these dogs would be left to suffer and die alone on the side of the street. As long as we have the support, we’re going to continue to do whatever we can to help these animals see a better tomorrow.”
Animal League America’s Port Washington, N.Y. campus may be more than 8,500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Thailand, but because of our generous supporters who continue to allow us to expand our rescue efforts, no distance is too far and no rescue mission is too daunting when it comes to saving the lives of homeless animals. It’s because of steadfast support like this, these animals will no longer have to struggle to merely make it through the day. They will be soon welcomed to the United States as happy, healthy Animal League America Mutt-i-grees.