As promised, here’s a much happier post. Nothing helps the loss of a beloved pet hurt a little less than helping another animal in need.
If you’ve been around for a while, you may remember that I used to be involved in rescue transports. We have a much higher euthanasia rate here in the south than in other parts of the country, particularly in more rural areas. To help combat that, many shelters and rescues in other areas partner with shelters and rescues in the south. The animals are pulled from the southern shelters and rescues and then transported to other parts of the country, to shelters and rescues that aren’t faced with as much overcrowding. In some cases they even go straight to their new homes.
The transports are how they get there. Usually the trip is broken down into legs of about an hour or so, and people sign up to drive a certain leg. You meet someone, usually right off the Interstate, and get the animal(s), drive your leg, meet someone else and deliver the animal(s) to them to continue the trip. There’s a coordinator who sets times, makes sure all the slots are filled, monitors the trip, and basically makes sure everything runs smoothly.
The transports are pretty amazing. Because it’s all volunteer, it doesn’t cost the rescue or shelter anything, and sometimes dozens of people (depending on how far the trip is), most of whom will never meet, work together to get animals to safety. It’s a pretty incredible thing to be part of.
We took a long break from driving the transports while Emma’s health was so bad. We felt like we needed to be with her, to give her the best quality of life possible. But within two weeks of losing Emma we both really wanted to help with a transport. I emailed some of the coordinators and asked to be put back on the lists for volunteering. One responded almost immediately to ask more about availability. We live kind of between two of the usual legs, so can easily drive either of them. If it’s a hard one to fill, we’ve driven both.
This particular transport was for a boxer named Tator (no, that’s not a misspelling on my part; it’s how his name is listed on the rescue’s website). Tator was in the Greenwood County Shelter, and was heart worm positive. Across America Boxer Rescue was willing and able to take him. They had a foster family lined up, ready to get him through his heart worm treatment. He just needed a ride, and he needed it in a hurry because the shelter was full.
Tator was incredibly sweet. He was scared and nervous, but still sweet, and clearly wanted to trust people. He was a great passenger; very well-mannered in the car.
It felt so good to do a transport again and have a small part in getting Tator on his way to a better life.