Weekend Warriors: The Tough But Rewarding Work of Driving Rescue Dogs to Forever Homes

Beth Stevens transported and then fostered this dog, who came all the way from St. Croix to Lost Dog.
Courtesy Beth Stevens
Beth Stevens transported and then fostered this dog, who came all the way from St. Croix to Lost Dog.

Navigating Tough Logistics

Transport does have its challenges.

“The logistics of it is a challenge and moving animals from car to car and shelter to car, car to vet is tricky sometimes,” Learch says. “We have to do it in a way that is safe for the animal.”

Richards says that in Texas, and where she previously lived in Arkansas, the biggest challenge is often the weather — particularly trying to get to Colorado in the fall or winter.

And, as you can imagine, a carload of dogs can get a little loud... or smelly.

“But, no matter what hardships we face, once everything is figured out and done it is the best feeling in the world,” Richards says. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a sad or sick shelter dog go to a loving and happy home.”

You can research the rescues and groups that coordinate transports in your area to see what the time commitments might be like, and which opportunities best fit your lifestyle. Many volunteers find transport to be a better fit for them and their families than other, more traditional animal rescue volunteer opportunities.

“It’s an easy thing to do and it’s a great thing for families to do,” Stevens says. “It’s a great way to bond because you have this long drive down and long drive back, so you have a chance to talk with your kids — and they’re doing this great thing.”

“We get the realities of weekend life, and you might want to volunteer, but you can only do it one Saturday a month,” says Learch. “We never want to say no to a willing set of hands... There’s no shortage of animals who need a ride.”

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