How to Become an Animal Rescue Transporter

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Each year rescues and shelters across the country depend on animal transports to assist them in their jobs to relocate and find new living arrangements for homeless pets. The animals are often driven or flown to locations where there are shortages of adoptable pets versus the areas where they were initially taken in and processed.

It is just one of the many rewarding ways for people to get involved in animal welfare. If you’d like to make a difference this way, here is some information on what you can do as a volunteer to become part of the solution according to

herding dog
Photo: Pixabay/n-k

Qualifying to Be in Animal Transport

It’s important to note that as an animal transporter, you may be asked to drive across town or across state. That’s something you can discuss with the organization you’d be driving for. In the meantime, to be considered, here’s what you’ll be required to have in order to perform the duties.

  • Be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license that’s clean
  • Have reliable transportation that preferably has heat and AC
  • Auto insurance
  • The ability to lift animals/their carriers in and out of vehicles
  • Patience with frightened and/or possibly aggressive animals
  • cocker spaniel
    Photo: Pixabay/PicsbyFran

    Getting Into Animal Transport

    Just so you know, while most of these positions are on a volunteer basis, Charity Paws points out that those with bigger budgets and more resources are willing to pay anywhere from .50 cents to .75 cents per mile.

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    They add that while you can negotiate for higher rates, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re working to help organizations that have little funding these days. In other words, this isn’t exactly a side hustle to earn extra income. It’s about helping animals.

  • To get started, begin by researching and identifying legitimate animal rescue organizations in your area. Contact them and express your desire to become a transporter as a volunteer or otherwise. These groups often have requirements and protocols you’ll need to follow.
  • If they have it, complete any necessary training. Many of them provide training programs/orientations for volunteers. They cover vital topics like handling canines, safety protocols, and best practices for transportation. Attending these training sessions will help equip you with the necessary know-how and skills to ensure a comfortable and safe transport experience for the animals.
  • Once you’ve completed any required training, sign up to begin transporting! Most rescues have websites with platforms where volunteers can indicate their availability and preferences for assignments. You may have the chance to transport locally or volunteer for longer drives, depending on your own availability and comfort level.
  • car driving
    Photo: Pixabay/Chamling098

    Tips for Preparing for Animal Transport

    As with any duty or job in life, it’s best to prepare ahead of time. You could liken it to bringing a new baby home from the hospital. You wouldn’t wait until you got out into the parking lot to try to install an infant seat for the first time right then and there.

  • It’s recommended that before each transport you ensure that your vehicle’s clean, secure, and equipped with supplies like crates and bedding, food and water, and an extra leash. Also, confirm that the pickup and drop-off locations haven’t changed, as well as any instructions or special needs for the dogs. Arrive on time and be prepared to provide a calm and safe environment for the dogs throughout the trip.
  • Finally, ensure the animal’s well-being during the transport by prioritizing their safety and comfort. Loud music should be avoided and skip the vape or smoking while they’re in your care. It’s also crucial that you follow the rescue’s guidelines regarding breaks, exercise, and feeding. Be patient and understanding, as your calming demeanor and gentle care can make a huge difference in their experience.
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    For those of you with pilot’s licenses or small aircraft, you can always donate your time and talent to the cause that way. If you’re interested in becoming a professional transporter, Charity Paws has information on that, too. Just click on the link above for more info.

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