Southwest Georgia has long had a problem with pet overpopulation. With the down turn in the economy, shelters and rescues are overwhelmed with dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, all needing to find that forever home. Staff is becoming innovative and more and more South Georgia dogs are being transported to the Northeast where adoption rates are higher.
When Flint Humane Society Director Amy Stokes contacted me about such a trip, I offered to help drive and with care of the puppies. Our goal was to leave Thursday afternoon with five dogs and arrive in Stewartsville, New Jersey fifteen hours later. We would drop the pups, turn around and head straight back to Georgia.
The dogs all had to be checked by the veterinarian and given immunizations prior to the trip. One of the five did not clear the physical so we were off; two woman and four dogs in a Dodge Caliber.
As with many shelter/rescue dogs, a car ride was a foreign experience for these guys and one they were not sure what to make of. Our little group included June, July and August, siblings who had spent their ten months of life at Flint Humane. Rounding out the group was Trigger, a Jack Russell mix.
The fifteen hour trip turned into twenty one hours. Again with no prior car riding experience, the pups did not know it was not Ok to relieve themselves in the car. And there was a five am stop at the Super Walmart in Wytheville, Virginia to try to fit another crate in the car as July had decided he would only ride in Amy’s lap. No problem until it was Amy’s turn to drive. Did I mention these were typical, klutzy lab mix puppies? It is a little difficult to maneuver a motor vehicle with one stretched out on top of you!
It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon when we arrived at Common Sense for Animals. Before we could finish unloading all of the puppies, Trigger was being shown to a possible adopter. Flint Humane director Amy Stokes knows this is the only real chance these dogs have to not live the rest of their lives out in a kennel at her shelter. She is so committed to the future of “her dogs” that when donations were not enough to cover the trip, she used her bill money to get these pups to their second chance at a loving home.
We pulled away with happy hearts. Talk turned quickly to the sixty plus dogs that remained in South Georgia and to future trips to give them a second chance. The trip home was uneventful, very quiet and a little sad. We realized they were only four and there are so very many more to save.
For more information on Flint Humane Society or to donate visit http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Flint-Humane-Society/149162058488451.