North Shore Animal League America’s annual adoption event began their eight-week tour across the country.
This past week, North Shore Animal League America kicked off their 2022 Tour For Life at the headquarters in Port Washington. For the past 22 years, the North Shore Animal League America has hosted Tour For Life, the world’s largest national life-saving pet adoption event. The eight-week event travels through 53 cities across 37 states.
One of the kennel managers at North Shore Animal League America, Jamie Malone, assisted in the event preparation and hosting of the week-long celebration at the Port Washington campus.
“The North Shore Animal League America came up with this event 22 years ago to get people’s attention to homeless animals and adoption,” Malone said. “We have done tens of thousands of adoptions since the Animal League America started about 75 years ago.”
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t put a stop to Tour for Life. The event was in progress when the pandemic hit in March of 2020 and they finished out the last few stops as safely as possible. When 2021 came around, North Shore Animal League America had a plan in motion to host their country-wide event while keeping safe the workers and families looking to adopt. They will continue practicing COVID-19 safety for the 2022 event as they travel throughout the states bringing attention to pet adoption.
“Tour for Life gets bigger every year,” Malone said. “Especially through generous donations and partnerships that have allowed us to add more mobile units and spread out our resources to assist other rescues and shelters during this event.”
North Shore Animal League America decided not to send out their mobile units this year to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 between the shelters and rescues they will be visiting. The mobile units usually assisted in advertising the event, as they would be seen driving around the towns and parked in shelters.
“Without the mobile units, we provide every shelter and rescue with banners to promote the event,” said Ilene Schreibman, communications manager at North Shore Animal League America. “We send out local media alerts to give the shelters the attention that they need and might not get on their own.”
“Our off-site team facilitates reaching out to our partners at different shelters and rescues across the country to set up anything they need and get the word out, so people are aware we are doing the adoption events,” Malone said. “The shelters and rescues come to us interested in participating in the event, and our off-site director discusses their mission statement and animals they are looking to get adopted. We’re always very happy to work with any shelter or rescue that wants to work with us.”
“With how many cities we go to, we assist in over 1,000 adoptions overall,” added Malone. “It’s a good mix of cats, dogs, puppies and kittens being adopted into loving families.”
North Shore Animal League America has partnered with Rachael Ray’s Nutrish for the 2022 Tour for Life event. “Our partnership is going to be a huge help for us because she has such a wonderful platform to reach so many people,” said Malone.
Ray has been a long-time supporter of North Shore Animal League America and has even adopted from them before. Her Nutrish pet food is given to the cats and dogs in the Animal League America’s care.
North Shore Animal League America is supportive to the families adopting from them during and after the adoption process.
“We help them find what kind of pet they are looking for and ask about their experience with animals in the past,” said Malone. “Then we guide the families to animals that fit their lifestyle. After meeting with the animals, they pick which one best suits their family and go over their applications and references. Then hopefully, they leave with their pet that day. We do same-day adoptions, which a lot of other organizations don’t do.”
“We try to give the families all the different tools to help work with behavior and not encourage bad behavior,” said Malone. “We advise the families on puppy play biting and housebreaking. Then, about two weeks after adoption, they are all signed up for a free virtual pet training class with our pet behavior department where they can learn new tips and ask questions.”
“Aside from Tour for Life, we’re always helping other rescues and shelters,” said Malone. The North Shore Animal League America continues to provide resources to its partners across the country and spread adoption education and awareness through various communities.
To learn more about North Shore Animal League and the 2022 Tour for Life, go to animalleague.org or visit the adoption center at 25 Davis Ave., Port Washington.