Sammy is a beagle pug mix. She is a beloved part of her family in Minnesota. But her fate was nearly doomed if she had stayed in Oklahoma.
The numbers are staggering. Nearly two out of three dogs are euthanized in Oklahoma City. Christy Counts with the Central Oklahoma Humane Society said puppy mills are a big part of our state's pet overpopulation problem.
"A lot of times people just get in over their head," Counts said. "They start breeding operations. They're not able to sustain proper health and care for the animals."
Now there's hope for dozens of furry friends in Oklahoma. And their new journey begins at the Steven J. Bentley Homeward Bound Facility in southeast Oklahoma City. One by one, the humane society staff loads18 dogs into a big truck, bound for Minnesota. An 800 mile road trip, before the dogs arrive at the Golden Valley Humane Society outside Minneapolis.
There are certain cities in the U.S. where the spay and neuter program is so popular, there aren't as many dogs to adopt. Minneapolis is one of them. So where a lot of dogs in Oklahoma would be euthanized, here in Minnesota, they're typically in a new home within a week.
The dogs get a full checkup before meeting their new families. This is where Sammy's life takes a drastic turn. She's one of the Sooner State transplants. The Puggle now has a new home just outside the Twin Cities with Gary McVey and his wife, Paula.
"I've adopted other animals in the past and we're just really strong believers in rescuing animals rather than purchasing animals if you can," Gary McVey said.
If Sammy stayed in Oklahoma, there is a good chance she would have been euthanized, an idea that breaks McVey's heart.
"I'm going to get emotional because I do sometimes," McVey said. "But we couldn't be happier and we're very grateful."
Grateful to our state.
"I just want to thank the people of Oklahoma again, the family who had her," McVey said. "We don't know who they are but thank you for bringing her to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society and putting her up for adoption and making her available to us."
A partnership already saving dozens of lives.
The Central Oklahoma Humane Society regularly transports Oklahoma dogs to other adoptable friendly cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. For every pet that moves out of state, there are hundreds more that stay in Oklahoma.