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Hi all -
In an *ideal* world, all dogs needing transport are fully vetted,
quarantined and healthy before transport - but we all know this is NOT
usually the case. As caring rescuers, many times we work against
the clock trying to save dogs from PTS - and they often come from
where veterinary care is sparse at best. That doesn't mean we can't
these babies - what it DOES mean is that IF you choose to help out with
type of 'emergency' transport, you should be *extra careful* in
some simple precautions when transporting. I'm assuming there are new
seasoned transporters who may be reading this email - some of this may
like 'common sense' and I mean no offense to anyone - "take what you
and leave the rest". Having said that, here is a list of what works for
if I do a 'risky' or 'emergency' transport.
*SUGGESTED GUIDELINES FOR 'EMERGENCY/RISKY' RESCUE TRANSPORT*
DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK QUESTIONS OF THE TRANSPORT COORDINATOR OR SHELTER
LIAISON ABOUT THE HEALTH/STATUS OF THE DOGS/PUPS YOU'RE BEING ASKED TO
TRANSPORT! MAKE SURE YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THE ANSWERS YOU'RE
SO YOU KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU DECIDE TO HELP WITH TRANSPORT!
WISH LIST BEFORE TRANSPORT - realizing these are not always possible in
1. Wherever possible, animals coming from shelters should be
*after* being vaccinated and a week to ten days *prior to transport*, to
ensure they are healthy with the highest degree of accuracy possible -
altered (or with a promise to alter upon arrival with reputable rescue).
2. Wherever possible, animals should be
CRATED SEPARATELY during
to prevent spread of any possible germs/disease. Ask that a crate be
provided with the animal, and it can be shipped back cheaply via UPS or
USPS - or use your own 'rescue' crates, making CERTAIN to clean them
carefully with bleach/water solution (described below) between each use.
crates aren't available and you still decide to transport, use a plastic
tarp to line your vehicle where the dogs will be - and rescue tie dogs'
leashes to different areas of the car (headrest, door handle, etc.) to
THINGS TO BRING (this stuff
will all fit into a small bucket in your car
great to have at all times, so you'll always have it handy):
2. Spray bottle with 20% bleach/80% water mix tightly closed
3. Antibacterial hand wash (the kind that doesn't require water) - pump
great and easiest!
4. Plastic bags (the kind groceries are packed in) for trash/cleanups
5. Paper towels (the thicker the better)
6. Small plastic tarp to cover seat or back of SUV is also great*
*(easy to put in/remove, folds to whatever size needed, easy to
with bleach/water solution, hose off and re-use)
7. Gallon jug of fresh drinking water for dogs to prevent dehydration
8. Disposable small paper bowls for water, so dogs don't share bowls
9. Bag of small dog treats
10. 1 or 2 extra leash/collar sets *just in case*
GETTING READY AND TRANSPORT -
THINGS TO DO:
1. Make sure all dog(s) being transported have decent collar/leash -
that the collar is on tight enough during transport so the dog can't
his/her head through it! You should be able to slide 2 fingers under
collar maximum while it's right against the dog's neck and TEST IT to
sure they can't slip through!
2. Make sure dog(s) being transported have had all necessary shots -
and Rabies (Bordetella/KC is also good, but not mandatory) - and that
paperwork comes along with them to prove it! It is ILLEGAL to cross
lines without proof of rabies shot - anyone stopped by police while
transporting without proof of rabies shot(s) risk the dog(s) being
confiscated ON THE SPOT, among other things!
3. NEVER, EVER bring your own
dog(s) along on a transport! Not only is
stressful for the rescued dog(s) being transported, you increase the
for spread of any possible germs/disease between animals.
4. Minimize exposure to the inside of your vehicle by using a plastic
and putting crates (or uncrated dogs if necessary) on *top* of it - and
removing/returning dog from/to crate without touching inside of your
vehicle. Ride with windows cracked open 'slightly' for fresh air.
5. Do NOT feed dogs prior
to transport, or feed them *lightly* to
them getting carsick/spreading germs that way. During transport, give a
treat or two and some water to keep their strength up and prevent
6. When removing dogs from soiled crates to clean during transport,
dog well by double-tying leash/collar to the outside of car door (or
car door and slam leash closed inside, leaving room for the dog to
sit and turn around outside). Give dog water and a treat if you wish,
can have it while you clean up their crate. Working quickly, remove
newspaper and place into plastic grocery bag, using handles to tie
shut after bag is full. Next, use bleach/water spray to clean inside of
crate - wipe well, replace fresh newspaper, return dog to crate keeping
collar on but clipping leash to outside of front crate door. If you
litter of pups in one large crate, spray bleach water onto a paper towel
set aside. Open crate slightly and remove soiled newspaper as best you
making sure nobody escapes - dispose trash in plastic bag. Use
lightly-soaked paper towel to wipe bottom of crate as best you can then
replace clean newspaper - moving puppies inside crate as necessary, then
close crate door securely. WASH YOUR HANDS with antibacterial hand wash
after handling EACH YOUNG OR ADULT DOG or LITTER (sharing a crate).
Sounds like a lot, but once you get good at this it goes pretty quickly
7. Music really does "soothe the savage beast" - I always play some
classical or relaxing jazz during transport. It's amazing how crying
or anxious younger and older dogs will soon relax and even sleep with
peaceful music playing softly.
AFTER YOU GET HOME:
1. If you used your own crates, spray them down well with bleach/water
solution and leave them outside to air dry.
2. Remove plastic tarp if you used one, spray it down well with
bleach/water solution, leave it outside to air dry.
3. Spritz bleach/water solution into the area of your vehicle where the
dogs/crates were, and on inside/outside driver's & passenger's door
4. Roll down vehicle windows just a crack for circulation.
5. Toss bagged trash into covered trash receptacle - spritz
inside just to be sure.
6. Wash hands with antibacterial stuff before changing your clothes.
When doing this type of transport, I leave the following things in
garage, ready and waiting for me, and I change in the GARAGE after
cleaning up my car:
1. a clean t-shirt or sweatshirt, sweatpants, socks, something clean to
wear on my feet
2. garbage bag to put dirty clothes in so I can carry them into the
3. cardboard box to put dirty shoes in so I can spritz them with
bleach/water (top and soles)
4. another bottle of antibacterial hand washing stuff so I can wash my
hands again before going inside the house
The rest of the stuff comes from Sharon's email, and she said it
"It's advisable to change your clothes before coming in contact with
own dogs, leaving your shoes outside until you can bleach down the
Then use a bleach solution of 20% bleach to 80% water and mist down your
vehicle where the dogs were."
"This should be done every time you transport regardless on whether the
has an illness or not. The reason is because dogs can harbor things
don't show up for 10 days or more after getting to their destination.
stress of transport will help to bring things out. All of the dogs that
came to me from this transport were already vaccinated. And still we
had a problem."
"Taking the above-mentioned precautions will ensure safety at home. You
should also call your own vet. They can give you probably more
than I can."
"Also, if your dogs are fully vaccinated that will certainly help. My
told me that dogs come in contact with parvo all the time. A healthy
with a good immune system and up to date normally fights it off and we
even know about it. It's the very young and very old dogs with weaker
immune systems that are the most risk. Call your vet and ask
Many transport groups do not condone transporting animals who may be
'risky', and many transporters are not comfortable doing transports such
these - it is up to the individual. However, if you choose to help out
these situations, the suggestions above should help to keep you, your
animals, and other rescued animals being transported safe. I realize
was long, and I appreciate everyone reading it.
All Pets Rescue www.allpetsrescue.org