Content reprinted with permission from Sunbear Squad. Copyright Sunbear Squad Inc. All Rights Reserved

Check out the Tips & Tricks below from our friends at Sunbear Squad. Got another one that you want to share? Click the Help/Feedback button at the bottom of the page and send it to us.

RISK: Bonding with an animal

SOLUTION:

All of the animals have been selected for rescue partly based on personality. Assume that you will like all of them and you will find a few steal your heart. Remind yourself that you are helping animals find forever homes.

RISK: Stressed animals

SOLUTION:

Assume all animals are suffering from stress of travel, meeting new people and animals. Give each animal a short walk and access to water at each transport spot. Handle gently. Play soothing music in the vehicle. Turn on heat or air conditioning as needed. And please leave your young children at home! Remember many undersocialized animals are fearful of children. Stressed animals may bite!

RISK: Your pets get sick after your transport

SOLUTION:

Leave your pets at home, unless you have discussed this in advance with your coordinator. Assume the transport animals have recently lived in high-volume animal shelters or very busy foster homes and they have been all exposed to various diseases. Disinfect crates and vehicle surfaces before and after transport. Wash bedding after each transport. Change your clothing when you get home before you greet your pets and wash the clothing.

RISK: The relay schedule falls behind

SOLUTION:

Plan your time carefully. Socializing during transfers is common, but try to focus on the task at hand. If the transport is running late, shorten your time if you can safely.

RISK: Vehicle breakdown causing transport delay

SOLUTION:

Keep your vehicle in excellent repair.

RISK: Getting lost on the way to the transport

SOLUTION:

Use a GPS, programmed in advance. Recruit a friend to navigate. Use a map.

RISK: Going to incorrect transport meeting place

SOLUTION:

Always speak with drivers of legs before and after you to discuss precise meeting locations on the site, unless you and they have used the points previously. Carry your cell phone.

RISK: Escaped animal running into traffic

SOLUTION:

Check collars to ensure a close fit. Before unloading, ensure leashes have not been chewed through, which leads to escape. Keep animals leashed, tethered or crated at all times. Put your hand through the leash loop and grasp the leash firmly. Don’t leave uncrated, untethered, or tethered animals in vehicles with open windows or hatches. Remember a tethered animal next to an open window may jump out and hang to death!

RISK: Escaped animal is difficult to re-capture

SOLUTION:

Most transport animals will not respond to their names or come on command. If an animal has escaped, IMMEDIATE action is required by all transport drivers to capture the animal. This is a very difficult situation. Study methods that professionals use to capture animals. Use treats to lure the animal, sit on the ground and coax playfully, run in the other direction playfully. Remember, chasing can be the worst choice of action.

RISK: Getting a speeding ticket

SOLUTION:

Arrive at pickup point 30 minutes in advance and leave on time.

RISK: Evasive maneuvers cause animal injury

SOLUTION:

Crate animals or use specially-designed seat belts.

RISK: Accident due to inattentive driving

SOLUTION:

Have phone numbers entered into your phone. Keep animals crated or tethered at all times. Get someone to ride with you to help monitor the animals and make calls. NOTE: your vehicle insurance may not cover injuries to animals riding in your vehicle under these circumstances. Check with your insurance company.

RISK: Climate control problems with your vehicle

SOLUTION:

Keep your vehicle in excellent repair.

RISK: Motion sickness

SOLUTION:

Don’t feed treats to transport animals. Keep spray cleaner and towels handy. Pull to the side of the road to perform cleanups. Do not be a distracted driver!

RISK: Fighting between animals

SOLUTION:

Use crates to keep animals secure and separated. Keep animals separated until or unless you are certain they like each other. Monitor e-mail comments from previous legs to learn of any issues between dogs.

RISK: Injury to animal while handling

SOLUTION:

Learn safe handling techniques and grip firmly. Always be observant, deliberate and mindful. Let the previous driver transfer the animal into your vehicle because the animal is likely to be more trusting of the known driver.

RISK: Injury to people while handling animals

SOLUTION:

Be knowledgeable of animal behavior and handling techniques. Be careful at all times. You don’t know the animals and they don’t know you. Most are very sweet but accidents can happen. The animals are stressed.

RISK: Damage to your vehicle during transport

SOLUTION:

Accept responsibility for the care of your vehicle. Assume the animals will be under stress from which chewing and pawing manifest occasionally. The rescue and transport coordinator can’t assume repair costs from damage during your transport. The animals are not the responsible parties in this situation either. If you use crates and take all appropriate care, damage to your vehicle is unlikely.

RISK: Theft of transported animals

SOLUTION:

Don’t leave your vehicle unattended. Fill your gas tank before meeting at the transport point. Don’t use a Rest Stop unless you have a helper to stay with the vehicle.

RISK: Muscle strain from handling animals

SOLUTION:

Know your physical limits and proper lift techniques. Review weight of animals in the run sheet to know which ones you can’t lift.

RISK: Delivering animals to hoarding situation

SOLUTION:

Review information about the receiving rescue online, and speak with your coordinator if you have concerns.