WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) – All of the unwanted puppies that would have otherwise been euthanized at an Alabama shelter were adopted Friday – only hours after arriving in West Michigan, according to the Humane Society of West Michigan.
In addition, HSWM said late Friday afternoon many of its older dogs were also adopted when hundreds of people lined up at the shelter to meet the puppies after their much-publicized arrival.
The puppies – 35 in all – arrived in Walker Friday morning as part of the Puppy Pipeline, which is a Georgia-based rescue program that transports unwanted dogs from overcrowded shelters in the South to the North, a HSWM release said. Funding for animal shelters in southern states is scarce and as a result, the shelters struggle with spay and neuter programs and overpopulation.
>>PHOTOS: Puppies arrive at HSWM
The partnership between HSWM and the Puppy Pipeline began after members from each group met at an animal welfare conference, HSWM said.
HSWM Director Trudy Ender told 24 Hour News 8 her shelter never euthanizes dogs in order to make room for other puppies or dogs. She also said their puppy room has been empty all summer.
“By having these dogs here at our shelter it isn’t displacing our community animals,” Ender said. “We want to make sure our priority is our community – and then when we have space, we can open it up for little animals like this.”
So many people showed up to the shelter Friday that they were signing up on a waiting just list to spend time with the pups. While they were waiting, some families were checking out the other dogs in the kennel.
“We’re looking to adopt a dog and we’ve been looking for quite some time,” said Eric VanderWal, who showed up with his family. “We saw that there was a puppy event going on here in Grand Rapids – we’re from Holland. Worth making the trek for. So we’re excited.”
HSWM officials said they hope all the publicity and interest in the puppies will bring more people to the shelter to adopt other dogs in need of permanent homes.
HSWM officials said that all dogs that are older than one year will be available for a discounted adoption fee of $50 on Friday and Saturday.
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