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North Shore Animal League adopts out hundreds of pets

Newsday employees in Melville were surprised with a

Newsday employees in Melville were surprised with a visit from the North Shore Animal League and six adoptable puppies on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. All six pooches found their forever homes. Credit: Johnny Milano

It’s not just for new Apple products that people start lining up at midnight.

Just past Friday night at midnight, the line started forming for North Shore Animal League America’s annual Adoptathon 2016 weekend, with people looking to get a first shot at choosing a new furry companion — as well as the adoption fee waiver for Saturday’s first 100 early birds.

Fast-forward to Monday morning, and more than 570 animals — puppies, kittens, grown dogs and cats — were waking up in loving and responsible new homes, said Kathleen Lynn, communications director.

Especially touching, she said, was saying farewell to some of the longer-term residents at the Port Washington rescue and adoption organization, as they headed home with their new forever families.

By around 9 p.m. Sunday — as shown in an Animal League live Facebook video — the cupboard of available Adoptathon puppies was getting bare. But don’t think for a moment that there weren’t — and still aren’t — plenty of lovable critters on the premises just waiting to be discovered.

River, a grown border collie mix being treated for heartworm, was about to head home Sunday night with a nurse, a first-time dog owner, who said in the Facebook video that caring for sick people and animals is her thing — and that River “just tugs at my heart.”

All six puppies who visited Newsday’s Melville headquarters on Wednesday, causing great delight among surprised employees, got new homes, including one that’s staying in the Newsday family, so to speak.

After spotting a chocolate-colored lab mix, Hank Winnicki, assistant managing editor for sports, tells of texting a photo to his wife, who quickly replied, “I WANT THAT PUPPY. BRING HER HOME.”

Things didn’t happen as easily at first, as another claim on the puppy had already been put in. The next day, though, brought good news, with Winnicki getting word that the 8- to 10-week-old female rescue dog from Virginia had become available. Following the approval process, the newly named Sadie headed home with the Winnicki family.

The Pet Adoptathon is actually a global initiative developed by North Shore Animal League America, with more than 2,000 shelters and rescue groups worldwide running their own adoption events. It’s in its 22nd year.

--With Meghan Giannotta and Hannah Siegel

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