One Million Pets Adopted Through Holiday Campaign

Seven-year-old rescue program continues to grow.

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Lucky, a cat that survived a 60-mile ride in Florida inside a cars engine compartment, was the millionth pet to find a new home through the Iams Home 4 the Holidays adoption campaign, an international program that just completed its seventh year.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center announced the milestone this week, and also reported that a record 328,777 animals were adopted during the annual drive, intended to provide good homes for pets during the holiday season.

Nearly 2,000 shelters and rescue groups from 10 countries participated in the effort, from Nov. 7, 2005, to Jan. 2, 2006.

Lucky, who suffered a broken leg and severed tail in the trip from Mobile, Ala., to Pensacola, Fla., was adopted in December by a local entertainer.

This year was special because we had thousands more animals who needed good homes after surviving the Gulf Coast hurricanes, said Mike Arms, the program founder and president of Helen Woodward.

The campaign goal was 250,000 adoptions. That number was easily surpassed with 160,958 cats, 147,087 dogs and 20,732 other pets (such as rabbits, snakes and birds) going to new homes.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays started in 1999 in the San Diego area, when 14 animal shelters collaborated on a Christmastime adoption drive.

Posted: Feb. 3, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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