Plane full of adoptable puppies touches down in Delaware

NEW CASTLE, Del. (WPVI) -- "This isn't just about 90 dogs coming here today," said Linda Torelli. "It's about 90 dogs that are the start of changing the landscape of that community."

That community is Hammond, Louisiana. Tangipahoa Parish Animal Services is depending on our community in the Greater Delaware Valley to make a difference.

"20% of their animals leave their shelter alive," said Torelli, the Marketing Director of the Brandywine Valley SPCA. "By the end of the year, there'll be over 90%."

That's thanks to a partnership between the BVSPCA and Best Friends Animal Society. Through a special investment, they were able to send three individuals from the Delaware Valley down south to the Bayou State.

"There's more animals here than it is homes for them," said David Owens, the BVSPCA's Shelter Programs Manager, during a FaceTime call from his room in Louisiana. "They could see up to 100 or more animals in one day that are coming through their shelters."

Owens is dedicating the next year of his life to saving the lives of dogs and cats in Louisiana. His team has completed a once-empty shelter with more than 70 kennels on the Tangipahoa property. In addition, they are building a spay/neuter clinic, building intervention programs, and promoting education that will reduce the homeless pet population.

"It'll be definitely a different world for me down here, but I'm up for the challenge," said Owens.

Today, a total of 88 dogs made their way to the BVSPCA's locations in New Castle, DE, Georgetown, DE, and West Chester, PA. Starting Tuesday, January 26, they will be available for adoption.

"You see these animals coming off the flight, you know they were at risk, they're going to get a home in a couple of days," said Torelli. "It is an incredibly rewarding feeling to see that happen.

Torelli says adoptions have increased by 20% in the year 2020 compared to 2019, potentially caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greater Philadelphia community has been exceptionally warm to adoptable pets in the past and she hopes this time around will be no different.

For more information, visit the BVSPCA's website.

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