More than 40 "highly adoptable" dogs were saved from imminent euthanasia when they were transported Monday from overcrowded shelters in Southern California to the North Shore Animal League in Port Washington.
"Our hope is that they get adopted quickly - they are absolutely adorable," said Joanne Yohannan, the league's vice president of operations. "We are preparing them as they become available."
A handful were put up for adoption Friday and the rest of the dogs will become available in the next few days, she said. The dogs are receiving medical and behavioral evaluations, baths, checkups and grooming, and are being spayed or neutered.
The breeds include Chihuahuas, mixed-breed Schnauzers and mixed-breed Dachshunds, and range in age from 1 to 6 years old. As small dogs, they are in demand for adoption on the East Coast where they typically are not available, North Shore officials said.
The coast-to-coast dog transportation operation is part of a newly formed alliance between North Shore and a group of California organizations - the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, Last Chance for Animals and Animals Advocates Alliance.
The 47 dogs boarded a private flight at San Bernardino International Airport and landed at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale. "The most important component of the program is saving the life of an animal that would be killed," said Yohannan, who said there is a possibility that the alliance will act again in the future.
"We want to make sure these pets are getting good homes," she said.