and are joining forces to raise money for a new mobile rescue and adoption unit. The initiative, "Paws to Give Thanks," runs throughout November.
While both NSALA and Petland Discount have a strong presence in Port Washington, the program had a Big Apple kickoff during a Nov. 1 launch in front of Petland Discounts on West 72nd Street.
According to Devera Lynn, vice president of communications for NSALA, "the new mobile unit will be used for mobile adoption events and tours across the country."
Among these tours are the "Tour for Life," which extends from California to New York and along the east coast from Florida to New York, and "Get Licks on Route 66," which runs along Route 66. The mobile unit is also utilized for NSALA cooperative adoption program, which hosts about 700 mobile adoption events in partnership with other shelters.
Lynn said, "A mobile unit is essential because it puts the animals in display in a beautiful way."
The animals are displayed in the mobile unit for any and all passerby to see. Lynn expressed that "this exposure puts the animals in a new light and helps people realize that there is an animal shelter in their area and no need to go to a pet store to get a pet."
Overall, "the mobile unit is important to help our shelters and shelters nationwide," Lynn noted.
NSALA spokesperson Beth Stern – wife of radio personality Howard Stern – was present at the kickoff. Stern became involved with the league more than five years ago when she volunteered to be in a fashion show at the Animal League's annual luncheon.
"I stayed on the runway until all the animals were adopted," Stern said.
She was dating her current husband at the time and the publicity and her love for the animals made for a good match to get the word out.
"Beth has been dedicated to the animals and getting the message out to come adopt," Lynn said.
Stern said she herself has adopted two cats. She adopted Apple over a year ago, and just a month ago she adopted Walter.
The goal of the fundraiser is to raise $75,000. However, the mobile unit is custom made and is estimated to cost around $250,000. Lynn said she hopes that they can get matching funds from other corporations trying to do their social responsibility.
Individual donations can be made at any Petland Discount store in the tri-state area, and online at AnimalLeague.org from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30.