Transporting Shelter Pets To New Lives

I volunteered at my county shelter for years.  For the most part, I was an Adoption Counselor at the shelter and at special adoption events.  I also fostered and attended events to help educate the public about the free and low cost services the shelter offers to the community. I also had the opportunity to participate in a different kind of activity at the shelter.

I took a selfie with one of the adorable Chihuahuas to be transported to the Humane Society in Missouri

Recently, the shelter has begun partnering with other shelters across the country on shelter Transport initiatives.  This is where animals in one shelter can be transported to a shelter in another state/city to help increase the odds of being adopted into loving homes.  For example, here in Phoenix we have a huge abundance of Chihuahuas and other small dogs.  In some areas of Pennsylvania and Missouri however, they actually have a need for small adoptable dogs!  They don't have enough small dogs for all the people in their community who want to adopt them - imagine that?! 

These little dogs are waiting their turn to be health assessed and vaccinated

Transport is a significant effort.  The partnering shelter sends staff to our shelter to look at the dogs we have for adoption and select those they feel would be a good fit for potential adopters in their community.  The dogs are then health assessed, vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and prepared for their long journey.  They are transported, mainly by bus, to the other shelter.  It's a long trip for both the drivers and the dogs.

For a recent Transport, volunteers were asked to help out and I signed up.  Our role was twofold:

> First, we had to get all the selected dogs out, one kennel at a time, to exercise them and let them burn off some energy before their long trip the next morning.

> Secondly, we functioned as "runners", bringing all the dogs from their kennels into the Veterinary area for vaccinations and health screening, and back again.

It was so interesting for me.  I had never been inside the "Operating Suite", where they do all the spay/neuters, health assessments, and medical treatment.  I hadn't worked with the Veterinarians or Vet Techs before either.  The whole process went rapidly and ran like a well oiled machine.  It was great to see everyone's cooperation and passion for these dogs and this process.  I was happy to be helping out with an initiative that will save more lives, sending more dogs off to find loving homes!  It was definitely something I'd like to help out with again.

More little dogs in the Transport group.  The Doxie wearing the cone in front was so feisty!

There are some people who express concern about shelter Transport, questioning if bringing in dogs from other shelters might impact the ability of the existing shelter dogs to be adopted; in other words, bringing in more "competition" for existing dogs to find homes.  It's an interesting question, I don't know enough to provide an answer.  As shelter Transport gains popularity and more analysis on it's impact are done, we'll be able to better assess the impacts and effectiveness of shelter Transport.

What are your thoughts on shelter Transport?  Do you think it's a good idea?  Please leave us a comment, we always want to hear from you!


Talent Hounds said...

Very cool insight into shelter transport. Also love the selfie;)

Unknown said...

Oh that's wonderful! Love your selfie too!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Thank you! It's a really interesting process. Thanks for stopping by today!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Definitely an interesting program. I'm not the best selfie taker, by I try! Thanks for stopping by today, Jenna!

Life with Dogs and Cats said...

I love the idea of transports for dogs. All three of my dogs came from transports from out of state. I live in NJ, and my dogs came from Louisiana and North Carolina. I am forever in debt to the nameless volunteers who helped bring my dogs home.

--Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Oh that's so great! I'm really glad to hear you rescued your dogs via transport. I think Northeast shelters do a great job of getting dogs from the South, there seems to be a lot more transporting happening there. Thanks for stopping by & sharing your experience Susan!

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