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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!!! Please keep your pets safe during the holidays. Lots of stuff to get into and lots of sugar and chocolate around to keep from them… get them doggie Christmas treats!!! But stick their butts under the mistletoe and kiss them all day long!
But for now, I want to talk a little about Animal Transporting. In the world of animal rescue there are all kinds of wonderful people doing wonderful things. They can volunteer at a shelter to help with a gazillion jobs, cleaning cages, walking dogs, helping with adoptions, ya da ya da… sorry, I should never yada yada a pet… but anyway, there are so many things needed and so much help required. And that is just the beginning. People go out and literally rescue from the streets: trap feral cats to help protect them and keep them healthy and neutered. In fact my cousin has a wonderful non-profit in Israel that I am part of (also run out of Michigan here in the sates) http://www.meowmission.org/ But as I was saying, and I do tend to ramble on, but only because every animal thought leads me to another. People go on the streets and rescue strays (dogs and cats) running lost and afraid. People doing hands on rescues, home visits for approval of adoptions (I do those too) Fostering dogs while they wait for permanent homes, pulling and testing dogs at shelters to be saved. (Pullers are the ones that go into a shelter to see the dogs (most of the time on death row) and see what they are like, personalities, health, issues, are they good with kids, with other dogs, do they fight with cats… and so on and they take them from the shelters and other overcrowded places) to go to no kill rescues and foster. Any of these jobs are so hard to do, you see so many dogs you know are going to be put down, so many scared, helpless little babies. But thank God someone does it, someone cares, and someone saves these sweet babies, one at a time.
One of the things I love to do is transporting. Cause if I walked into a shelter I would walk out sobbing, with 20 animals in my arms. . I get so emotional and attached. I’m a sucker for a furball in need. I’m one of these people watching a movie, people are being thrown off roofs, run over by cars, but when I see the animal left behind or hurt, I get hysterical…even if it’s a cartoon… no one cried harder at bambi than me when I was a kid and I still cry at cartoons… !!
But transporting is such a wonderful feeling and I can help without having to actually go to the shelter (I am such a wimp). Not that I don’t get attached in that small amount of time that I drive, I do, I fall in love with someone on every trip. Like last weekend, I only had 2 dogs in my car, usually I have 5, 6, 10! Depends on the size, the need, the crates we have etc… But last week it was 2 beauties. A lovely chocolate lab and the absolutely fabulous St Bernard puppy Mortimer!! I say puppy, but he weighed 85 lbs and was only 8 to 10 months old. He came from a kill shelter in Georgia and went to rescue in Connecticut, Bandits Place. Which if anyone is interested please contact them, but remember nobody in the Real Rescue Business is just going to give you a dog, it is like adopting a child, thankfully. Because no one wants to have a dog saved just to go back to any kind of abuse or intolerable or unsafe situation. I will talk about adoptions on the next blog, but I want to get back to the transport…. What did I say about rambling?????
Mortimer drove with his back end in the back seat, and his front end in the front seat. Most dogs are crated for their own safety and to keep dogs apart, but he was so huge, and mellow, I let him be tethered in the back. But he tried to drive, he tried to make out with me while I drove, he had his paws on my lap and his head in my arms, all with his back half still in the back. I was smitten to say the least!!!
Anyway, so transporters volunteer to do a “leg” or section of the run. The runs I work with pttr (paws to the rescue) and rural shelter transports are just two of hundreds of transports across the country. These two groups pull dogs from the south and they are transported up north to rescues usually in new jersey, Connecticut, Maine, etc. There is a wonderful network of supporters that help them put this all together and weekly come up with all the dogs, what kind they are and what size to see what cars they will fit in, who is driving which leg, etc. They send out emails to get volunteers, they coordinate, they beg, they do everything in their power to get the dogs safely and quickly from caged kill environments to warmth, love, and the beginning of a new life. There are many rules and guidelines to follow. Young puppies cannot touch the ground. They don’t have protected immune systems and have to be transferred from crate to crate in each person’s car. If they poop and pee, we clean them up and then clean the cages, they get water, they get Nutrical, they get love and hugs. But puppies are the hardest. You can’t contaminate the litters, you can’t mix the litters, you have to keep them hydrated, clean, you really have to follow all the preps, the guidelines and so forth. They are usually given a round of vaccines but they can have worms, they can be sick, they can fade so fast and especially in the winter they can get so cold when you are transferring. So many little things to know. If you use hand sanitizer and they lick it, they can get very ill. So there is so much coordinating done by these great volunteers.
All the bigger dogs get walked and watered and of course everyone wants give hugs and kisses and help each other make the transfer easy. These dogs are traveling a long way and every hour are getting handed off to new people, in strange cars, and more cages. So it’s hard on them. They get scared, they get tired, they get nervous. Sometimes the stress can make them fight, So you have to have patience and be on your toes. It’s one of the reasons they crate them. Some are sick and you don’t want to spread disease, there is so much to be aware of…. but in the long run, they are safe and going to wonderful places to people who care and will help them on their journey….and that makes it all worthwhile.
If you want to get involved, just look around, facebook, dog sites, local shelters, adoptions at pet stores, and right here!! Please let me know if I can help you get going in any area. And get info from your local shelters to see how you can help. I have met some great new friends, 2 footed and 4 footed, doing the transports and hopefully you will too. Good Luck and remember, our pets love us unconditionally and deserve all the love and caring we can give them. And remember the ones that aren’t as lucky as your pets and donate some time or money or goodies to a shelter, a group, a nonprofit, or just help a neighbor down on his luck that has a pet. Whatever you do, blessings on your heads and a healthy and happy new year to you and your loved ones… 4 footed and 2 !!