OPEN ARMS TRANSPORT/SHELTER VOLUNTEER SUGGESTIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
Open Arms Pound Rescue thanks you most sincerely for volunteering to help us transport dogs from certain death in kill shelters to safety with approved and screened rescues in the United States and Canada. As volunteers, we understand that you are in no way obligated to do what you do. We are completely dependent upon your continued assistance to save dogs each week.We are also grateful to the shelters and shelter volunteers who care enough about “their” dogs to work hard to get them out and to safety.
Experience has taught us that certain protocols are necessary to help ensure the safety and comfort of the animals and people involved with transports. Please carefully observe the following protocols.
•We allow 15 minutes between legs to walk and water the dogs (though it isn't necessary to walk each dog at each stop!) It's very important to arrive at your meeting place by the beginning of the transfer period. •Please make sure you have extra collars and leashes, paper towels, Clorox wipes, newspaper, plastic bags, water bowls and water. •Please make sure your cell phone is CHARGED and ON. If you have time, photos during the run are always appreciated. •As always, allow the person with the dogs to do the transfer. Don't open the vehicle until every dog's leash is securely fastened; better yet, leave their leashes on in the crates so you have something to grab if necessary. Have a backup person behind you when you open the crate door and have a firm grip on the leash. Have some YUMMY treats available as bribes in case a dog gets loose (just don't let that happen!) •EACH PASSENGER MUST TRAVEL WITH AN INDIVIDUAL HEALTH CERTIFICATE AND A RABIES CERTIFICATE SIGNED PERSONALLY IN INK BY A LICENSED VET. THESE PAPERS SHOULD BE IN AN ENVELOPE CLEARLY LABELED WITH THE DOG'S NAME AND THE NAME OF THE RECEIVING RESCUE. •DO NOT PUT MULTIPLE DOGS ON THE SAME PAPERWORK. •S/HE MUST ALSO HAVE A COLLAR, WHICH MUST BE LABELED WITH THE DOG'S NAME AND THE NAME AND CONTACT INFO OF THE RECEIVING RESCUE. • S/HE SHOULD ALSO HAVE A STURDY LEASH SUITABLE TO HIS OR HER WEIGHT. •THIS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE. DO NOT SEND A DOG ON THE TRANSPORT WITHOUT AN APPROPRIATELY LABELED COLLAR AND A PROPERLY LABELED ENVELOPE WITH THAT DOG'S (AND ONLY THAT DOG'S) PAPERWORK. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE RECEIVING RESCUE TO WORK TOGETHER WITH THE SENDING SHELTER AND/OR BOARDING FACILITY TO MAKE SURE THESE THINGS HAVE BEEN PREPARED PRIOR TO TRANSPORT. •DOGS CANNOT BE TRANSPORTED IF THEY SHOW ANY SIGNS OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE, e.g. COUGHING. ANY SHELTER VIOLATING THIS POLICY WILL BE BARRED FROM SENDING DOGS ON FUTURE TRANSPORTS, SO DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! DOGS GOING TO CANADA MUST NOT BE ACCOMPANIED BY ANTIBIOTICS FOR ANY SORT OF INFECTION. IF A DOG IS TRAVELING WITH MEDICATION OF ANY OTHER KIND, WE MUST HAVE AT LEAST 48 HOURS ADVANCE NOTICE IN ORDER TO CLEAR THEM WITH THE VET AT THE CANADIAN BORDER. •Please remember to transfer not only the dogs but also the paperwork. This is absolutely crucial!!!
The following are tips and suggestions to help make your experience, and the dogs’ experiences as safe and stress-free as possible. Please give serious consideration to each suggestion.
•Please use crates whenever possible. Using crates helps calm nervous dogs and allows for a safer and less stressed transport for both the driver and the dogs. If you don’t have crates, please check at garage sales, advertisements in newspapers, etc. for used ones. If you inform vet clinics, boarding kennels and pet stores of your need they will sometimes donate them, or keep on the lookout for used ones. •Please do NOT bring your own pets or children along on transports. We have no personal knowledge of the dogs we are transporting. In addition, they are under a great deal of stress caused by being in a shelter, followed by the transport process. Bringing children with you could put the child and/or the dogs at risk. •If you must bring children with you, please do not allow them to handle the dogs, get close to them, or walk them on leashes. •Do bring another adult with you if at all possible. Having another adult along in case of an emergency could be a lifesaver, and at minimum, be of great assistance to you. •Please be patient with the dogs during the transfer time. •Stressed dogs can behave in ways they might not ordinarily behave. Please don’t be overly affectionate, playful, or assertive with these dogs. They need calm, not to be fussed over. Never put your face down to a strange dog or suddenly grab it, especially near the neck or tail area. Avoid sudden moves, especially those involving raised arms and hands. •Socializing with other strange dogs can be stressful. Please keep the dogs separated at comfortable distances from each other during transfers. •While treats are great to have along in case of an escape, please don’t give food or treats during transport! They can become very food possessive under these stressful circumstances and this may cause aggression issues. •Avoid putting dogs in your front seat while you are driving if at all possible.