Animal Welfare Professionals

 View Only
  • 1.  Transfer partner advice

    Posted 04-30-2024 03:25 PM

    Hi Friends!

    I'm with Beyond the Fight Initiative, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that finds placements for dogs who have been involved in animal cruelty court cases. It's absolutely heartbreaking to see these adoptable dogs get euthanized after going through so much in their lives so we decided to start doing something about it! My question is: In your opinions, what is the best way to form partnerships with rescues and no-kill shelters throughout the US to help place these deserving dogs? Each dog is professionally temperment tested prior to placement and completely vetted, so no medical treatment will ever be needed. And transport is provided too. Any and all suggestions will be much appreciated!


    Ashley Dames
    Beyond the Fight Initiative

  • 2.  RE: Transfer partner advice

    Posted 05-14-2024 10:28 AM

    Sorry it's taken time for me to respond to your transport question.  You are looking for transport partner advice and my response isn't what you want to hear but I feel compelled to provide it.  I hope you can find advice from other sources that will give you some better options.

    Background: my group manages a Coalition of Arkansas rescues and shelters that transport animals out of state. Our Coalition moved over 1,000 animals in 2023; when transports operated by our Coalition members - outside of our Coalition's effort - are added, these 7 rescues/shelters moved over 3,000 dogs and cats last year. More than half were dogs. Collectively, our Coalition members have over 20 partners in more than 10 states.

    All but one of these organizations are volunteer based, funded locally without government contracts. Since not defined as "shelters," they don't report to the national databases (intake/outcome volume), so no one tracks their outcome rates nor are interested in funding their transports to reduce euthanasia rates.  Many of the dogs are pulled from what we call 'pounds' in the South (city paid staff that pick up and hold animals on short stray holds before they are put down, with those intake/outcome statistics not reflected in any database you can find). 

    Now, your objective is laudable, and I hope you are successful and will share your success on this forum. However, finding dog transport placements for non-municipal shelters, especially for difficult cases - 'blockheads' (also known as bully breed mixes), behavior issues, former hoarding / dog fighting, even friendly large adult dogs - is extremely hard. Many groups with transport experience are losing their dog placement opportunities due to reduced dog adoptions at their existing partners. I work full-time (unpaid since I am retired and run my organization) trying to find new transport partners and opportunities. I admit that I look more for cat transport opportunities but also try to find placements for our Coalition members that move dogs.

    If your volume is expected to be sporadic and you only pull dogs from sources that do not report to the national databases – especially considering your dog profiles, you will have difficulty locating recurring receiving partners. Individual appeals through social media groups and ones such as Maddie's Forum may be your best bet.

    Destination partners are primarily looking for consistent, reliable sources that can provide animals that fit their facility kennel space or capacity (foster homes, adoption stores) with animals that are moving in their market. This may not be a popular statement, but animal welfare is a business, albeit a non-profit one. Rescues and even shelters close every year because they can't obtain enough funds to cover operating expenses. Receiving partners should not be faulted for operating policies that allow them to survive; accepting transported animals that create bottlenecks in their pipeline is not a recipe for survival.

    This reality is discouraging to a new organization with your mission, and it may take a lot of effort on your part to find those placements. I can tell you that if you keep your expectations in check and focus on the small wins you achieve, you will make a difference. Good luck.

    June Thomas
    Central Arkansas Rescue Transport