There is a lot to know about the animal rescue world but we are sharing a few things we thing are pretty important when it comes to being successful in animal rescue relay transports.
1. We’re all volunteers
The wonderful world of animal rescue is largely dependent on volunteers just like you. Animal rescue relay transport is a network of loving volunteers driving the animals a leg of their journey and handing them off to the next volunteer to continue the journey to their destination. So remember that they are volunteering their time, energy, gas and vehicles just like you and be understanding and flexible with delays, changes, and misunderstandings.
2. There’s a right way and a wrong way
Just like you take your time when learning a new skill or craft, you should do the same in animal rescue. It’s more than just putting dogs in cars and driving. You need to make sure you understand the proper way to secure the animals, the ways to prevent escape, and how to properly clean and sanitize before and after each transport. Like so many other things there is a right way and a wrong way to do things so take the time to do it right.
3. Be flexible, kind and forgiving
Rescue relay transport is a difficult logistical puzzle to make happen efficiently and effortlessly. It’s not uncommon for things to change frequently and even last minute. Animals being swapped out or added, volunteers needing to drop legs or the coordinator needing to reroute the transport another way. Your time is valuable as is the time of the other volunteers. Be kind, flexible and understanding and know that we’re all trying to help animals and have the right intent in mind.
4. We need you to help recruit
One of the limits of transport is that there are never enough volunteers and always more animals that need to be moved. Therefore, we need you to help the community recruit more volunteers. Tell your friends, family and co-workers what you did over the weekend and explain how easy it is for them to get involved. Promote your awesome stories and pictures on blogs, Facebook and by sending them to Doobert so we can post them as well. The more volunteers we get working together, the more animals we can all transport.
5. Expect the unexpected
Ok this seems like an obvious one but taking a few minutes to think about what might go wrong on a transport is something that many people do not do often enough. Is there traffic or construction along your route? Is there a game in town that could slow your progress (football, baseball, etc.)? Is there a storm coming? Is your car large enough for the passengers? The unexpected can and does happen on transport so think through scenarios that might throw you for a loop and prepare for them.
6. Keep your lives separate
Many people get involved in rescue relay transport because they love animals and they want to share their passion. They often want to bring along their own family pets seemingly to show them how lucky they are. This isn’t a good idea for a number of reasons. Animals from shelters may have sickness or diseases not fully treated, they may have behavioral problems, and having animals that don’t like each other in a confined space can be problematic. So keep your rescue life and home life separate and leave your other family members out of this particular ride.
7. Track your involvement
If you are driving or flying for a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity the mileage is tax deductible. Last we checked it was $.14/mile for driving for charitable organizations. So keep track of the mileage you drive while on a transport or sign-up for the Charitable Tracking module on Doobert and let us do it for you.
8. Be dependable
Remember that you’re one of sometimes dozens of volunteers in the chain. If you back out last minute, don’t arrive on time or just forget to show up, the entire relay is disrupted so it’s important that you are dependable and realize that others are counting on you to do your part.
9. Know you are appreciated
The rescue community appreciates you and what you do to help the animals. Know that you are loved, supported, respected and appreciated.
Let us know what you think or if you have a helpful tip of your own to share!