SALEM — The MSPCA-Angell and Northeast Animal Shelter on Wednesday announced an affiliation they say will allow more pets to be adopted.
Under the agreement, the MSPCA-Angell will take on the oversight and management of Northeast Animal Shelter. The shelter will continue to operate as a separate organization, and will maintain its name and Salem headquarters.
This affiliation comes as demand for adoptable animals has skyrocketed against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to record shortages of pets in shelters across the Northeast and beyond.
Leaders at both the MSPCA and Northeast Animal Shelter want to meet this demand with animals from regions where shelters remain full — and in some cases overflowing.
“There’s no question that the pandemic’s economic fallout has hit some parts of the country harder than others, and we know from experience that when people fall on hard times, animals can become vulnerable,” said Neal Litvack, president and CEO of the MSPCA-Angell, in a statement.
Litvack said combining Northeast Animal Shelter’s animal transport network with the MSPCA’s veterinary and adoption center resources will ultimately connect more pets with adopters than either organization could manage on their own.
Northeast Animal Shelter was founded in 1976 by Cindi Shapiro. According to the announcement, the shelter’s leadership approached the MSPCA regarding an affiliation.
“Over the past year, we began to discuss ways we could increase our lifesaving efforts, and joining forces with the MSPCA, with its deep expertise in all areas of animal welfare and its commitment to helping more pets find homes, was a natural fit,” Shapiro said in the statement.
Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell, will serve as Northeast Animal Shelter’s interim executive director during the transition.
This story will be updated.