Puppies Make Great Co-Pilots

By The Bark Editors, August 2020, Updated June 2021
puppy transporters - rescuers

We give a shout-out to volunteer rescue-animal transporters—all those who drive or fly homeless dogs, cats and other animals in need of a second chance and a real shot at finding a forever home. Across state lines, in wind, rain and snow, these big-hearted people spend their free time taking adoptable animals from areas of the country where shelters are underfunded and overcrowded to areas where adoptable animals are in short supply. In doing so, the transporters are helping animals of all ages—from the very young to seniors—escape meager lives, abuse and abandonment.

The volunteers often tag-team, ferrying the animals over long distances (the black puppies shown above traveled from Louisiana to Pennsylvania). Each transporter is responsible for one leg of the journey, handing off their precious cargo at rest stops, truck stops, public parks or small airfields. The dogs and cats are treated with care and love, and the volunteers often develop strong bonds with their passengers.

The volunteers’ reward? Knowing that this simple act saves these animals’ lives, not to mention delivers joy to those who are waiting to foster or adopt them.

Drive on!

If you wish to learn more about the people and incredible world of animal rescue transport we recommend the riveting book Rescue Road by Peter Zheutlin.

Photos courtesy of PAWS of NE LA and RACE4Ran (top) and Pawsitive Action Rescue (bottom left and right).