KNOW WHO YOU ARE DRIVING FOR
The info below will tell you WHY you need to know who you are driving for and where dogs are being sent.
Engineers, don't just sign up to help on a transport without doing your homework first. Gone are the days where you can volunteer to drive (in blind faith) on any transport that just happens to land in your inbox.
If you are considering driving on a transport, make sure you know who the coordinator is. If you don't recognize their name, ask around. Dig up information. Google their name and email address. You want to make sure you are driving for a reputable coordinator - one with integrity, not some fly-by-night person posing as a coordinator who is going to use you to unwittingly help send dogs into unthinkable situations. Find out who this "coordinator" is - the rescue world is a small world - everybody knows everyone or at least knows about them. ASK AROUND before signing up to drive.
Another thing to look for..... if the name of the receiving rescue AND their website isn't provided on the transport sheet for you to see, **RED FLAG**! Ask questions of the "coordinator" and do not let them off the hook without being provided with all the information you need to check into the receiving rescue. Google the receiving rescue. Ask other people in rescue (and other coordinators whom you trust) about the receiving rescue. Check DNA sites.
Go to the receiving rescue's web page. Read about their adoption policies, etc. Do they spay/neuter BEFORE they adopt out? Do they interview and do background & reference checks on potential adopters? Do they require a home visit for fosters and adopters? Or is it simply "cash and carry"? Do they seem genuinely in it for the dogs....or do you get the impression they are more interested in the adoption fee? Where are the rescued dogs living as they wait to be adopted - in foster homes or in a barn or a shed on their property? Look at the pictures of the dogs on their site. Do they look happy and in good shape? Look at the images in the background of the pictures - do you see things like crates stacked on top of crates, clutter, and dirty food bowls?
You could even take it a step further and email the receiving rescue and ask them to provide the name, address and phone number of the vet they use. Then, contact the clinic and ask them if they would recommend this rescue group? You'd be surprised what you can find out. BTW, all reputable coordinators do this as part of their screening process for rescues they work with.
Finally, ask yourself....WOULD I SEND A DOG I LOVE TO THIS RESCUE?
ONLY DRIVE TRANSPORTS FOR RESCUE GROUPS WITH UPSTANDING REPUTATIONS. PERIOD.
Also, please don't automatically crosspost transport run sheets unless you have deemed it a safe and worthy transport. In other words, read through the run sheet first, paying attention to the name of the coordinator and the receiving rescue. Don't pass it along if you see any red flags. If you're not sure whether something is a red flag, contact a coordinator you trust and find out.
If anything makes you uneasy about the transport - DO NOT VOLUNTEER TO DRIVE and speak up!
There are evil people out there just waiting to get their hands on FREE DOGS! Especially when the dogs can now be delivered right to their doorstep!
Please, please, please critically evaluate transports that you volunteer to drive for by looking at clues in the transport request/run sheet.
DO NOT drive a transport for an unaltered dog to a private adopter.
DO NOT drive a transport for a dog going to a rescue that you have heard questionable things about.
DO NOT drive a transport for a coordinator that other coordinators warn you about.
Everyone wants to help a shelter dog, but please ask yourself if such a move is truly in the best interest of the animal. As cruel as it sounds, there really is a fate much worse than euthanasia in a shelter.
All the details of a responsible transport should be available to the volunteer drivers to protect them from helping a dog into a fate worse than death.
^^^Thank you to Sheri Jackson for this valuable advice^^^
Feel free to share this or message us with any questions you may have.