The Storm! PUP’s October Shelter Sweep

Storm1PUP started pulling dogs from high kill shelters in other states over 10 years ago when it was less than popular. Today, you see and hear about transports on a weekly basis. Due to our early start, we didn’t have the luxury of pilots and quick trips. We depended on our volunteers to either drive round trip to California or meet our shelter partner volunteers in Oregon.

This past year we’ve gotten very used to working with Peter and Dog Is My Co-Pilot. So, when Peter said he wouldn’t be able to fly our animals up as planned on October 15th due to the upcoming storm, we immediately went back to our “old school” method and sent out a plea to our volunteers for drivers. Sure enough, Sue and Rhonda stepped forward to drive.

We were all very concerned as we watched the upcoming storm reports, but we also needed to get the 42 animals out of the shelter. It’s a daily struggle for our shelters to find room available for incoming animals and this time of year always seems to be worse. With van rented, drivers secured, and their homes and families taken care of before they left, the transport began. They made the trek south, texting along the way, and keeping us apprised of the weather they were encountering along I-5 while we kept them updated on our weather here at home.

Storm3Knowing there were two RNs onboard should anything happen to our animals to or from Oregon, where they were meeting our shelter partner drivers, did make things a bit less stressful. Transports can be stressful even under the very best of circumstances as you’re carrying precious cargo. With a storm possibly hitting and hitting hard along I-5, we had major concerns. They were prepared to hunker down with the 27 dogs, 14 cats, and 1 rabbit if the storm hit. I knew they would do whatever necessary to keep all safe, including one another.

Along with everyone else here in Washington, we were all elated as our drivers were able to quickly and safely transfer the animals in Oregon. Our south area fosters made the trek easier on our drivers by enabling them to make only one stop as they made their way north along I-5. Eventually, they made their way back home to Issaquah safe and sound and introduced our new furkids to their eagerly waiting eastside, Seattle, and North area foster families.

When asked how the transfer in Oregon went, Sue told me it was a bit odd. She said it was raining and windy all the way there. However, it all stopped when they were transferring the animals to our van. Then began to rain and blow again as soon as they got back on the road. Looking back on over 100 transports to date, I am grateful we learned to rely on ourselves all those years as this transport was as organized and well-done as any we’ve had in the past. I truly believe it was in part because PUP volunteers are committed to greeting each challenge with the “can do” attitude PUP was built on.

Truly grateful for the storm that never was…and a team that keeps its focus on the animals.

Laura Tonkin
Director, PUP Dog Rescue


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