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Feature Stories

Dogs Get Ticket For A New Life Aboard Mutt-I-Grees Express

More than 120 dogs and puppies were rescued from over-crowded municipal shelters in California and Oklahoma and brought to North Shore Animal League America Headquarters in Port Washington. Hopping aboard the inaugural journey of the Mutt-i-grees Express, the dogs received a ticket for a new life, and hopefully, many of them will find homes for the holidays.

It was in the spirit of the season of giving that North Shore Animal League America (NSALA) launched the Mutt-i-grees Express, a humane relocation program that transports animals to a new life. Since 1991, NSALA’s humane relocation efforts have rescued more than 150,000 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, and the launch of the Mutt-i-grees Express represents the beginning of a new era.

“While Animal League America practices a no-kill philosophy, many other shelters are forced to euthanize due to the lack of space and resources, resulting in approximately 4 million shelter pets unnecessarily dying each year,” said North Shore Animal League America President John Stevenson. “Now, thanks to the Mutt-i-grees Express, countless numbers of animal passengers are on the fast track to Animal League America’s Adoption Headquarters – and from there, a wonderful new life in a loving home,” he added.

The rescue mission was conducted by North Shore Animal League America’s rescue team, in collaboration with Emmy award-winning actress Katherine Heigl’s Jason Debus Heigl Foundation and country music superstar Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation, both of which share the mission to rescue, nurture and adopt as many homeless animals as possible.

Specifically, the MuttNation Foundation raises funds through direct donations, benefit concerts and further fundraising efforts to support other entities whose purpose is to help animals. The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation was founded by Nancy and Katherine Heigl, in memory of their son and brother, Jason, who was killed in a truck accident at the age of 15. The foundation’s mission statement says that Jason loved all animals, and so the foundation funds efforts to help animals, in order to extend Jason’s legacy of compassion for the innocent and voiceless.

The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation connected with the Mutt-i-grees Express mission in L.A. County, California, where nearly 100 animals were saved. In addition, Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation joined the Mutt-i-grees Express in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, welcoming more dogs aboard the journey to NSALA headquarters.

“Saving the lives of innocent animals is a mission of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation and this rescue is just one of the many ways we can work together to end the euthanasia of 10,000 pets a day,” said Katherine Heigl, co-founder of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation.

Miranda Lambert said, “We are so excited about MuttNation’s new partnership with North Shore Animal League America. MuttNation’s mission to encourage shelter adoption, end animal suffering and homelessness is one we hold very dear to our hearts and by teaming up with Animal League America we will be able to save the lives of so many dogs! It’s a real match made in doggie heaven!”

The puppies and dogs – who range in all ages, breeds, and sizes – are now available for adoption at North Shore Animal League America Adoption Headquarters, located at 25 Davis Avenue in Port Washington. Before being made available for adoption, the dogs were evaluated medically and behaviorally and spayed or neutered.

For more information on the Mutt-i-grees Express and to see all of the puppies and dogs available for adoption, please visit www.animalleague.org.

To learn more about the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, visit jasonheiglfoundation.org and www.just1pet.com. For more information on MuttNation, visit muttnationfoundation.com.