Why should you apply to join this network?
We have been building this network since 2006 and all of our members are screened. It is a professional/collaborative network which is also a drama-free zone.
Please Note: This application is for municipal shelters, dog pounds, and humane societies with a shelter building. If you are a foster-based rescue in a rural area looking to send dogs (and occasional cats) to rescues in the northeastern states via this network, please complete the Rescue Application instead.
Approval of this application will give you access to a volunteer transport network that involves collaboration between sending shelters (most of which are located in WV, KY and OH) who assist each other with support, advice, and regularly transport to receiving rescues ranging from MD up into New England via shelter collaboration and a volunteer driver transport network.
Shelter drivers typically meet our volunteer drivers in Hagerstown MD on Saturday early afternoon. From there we are able to transport to our approved rescues in northeastern states.
We do not accept sending organizations who charge rescues a per-dog transport fee; however, if you need assistance with fundraising to cover transport costs, we can help by setting up YouCaring fundraising pages where donations are sent directly to your organization's PayPal account. Sending organizations also often help each other by contributing toward gas when they are hitching dogs with another organization south of Maryland.
All rescues in this network have been screened. Some are 501(c)(3), some are not. We don't consider non-profit status an indication as to whether or not a rescue is a good rescue, so we do not require it for membership. It is a handy fundraising and supplies donation tool, nothing more. We dig deeper than that to assess a rescue's practices and behavior before approval.
In order to participate in this network, you must have an employee or volunteer who is willing and able to promote your dogs to our rescues on a weekly basis via our email group and then respond to inquiries via email in a timely manner. If you're short-staffed and often on the road, you can get the Gmail app for your smartphone, set up a Gmail account, and keep in touch that way.
You (the sending organization, whether you are a municipal shelter, humane society, or foster-based rescue) must have access to vetting at reasonable prices. Most rescues will want some or all of this vetting done prior to transport: rabies, distemper combo, heartworm test or 3DX test or 4DX test, spay/neuter, deworming with Drontal Plus or Panacur (3-5 days), fecal test, flea/tick treatment, and health certificate. If you can do this for $125 or less, you're in the sweet zone for being price competitive with our other shelters.
Unless the dog is sponsored or your organization is offering it to rescue at a reduced fee, the rescue is expected to pay for the vetting according to your protocols/timing. Please discuss actual cost and how/when you expect payment with the rescue prior to confirming a dog. Explain to them your procedure for payment. Do this in an email and save the email in case there is ever a discrepancy and you have to come to us to mediate. We do not tolerate non-paying rescues but we also do not tolerate shelters who do not inform the rescues of actual cost up front. Thanks for your cooperation.
Our minimum requirements for transporting non-pregnant dogs are rabies, distemper combo vax, and health certificate. Pregnant dogs are not required to be vaccinated beyond the import requirements for the receiving rescue's state. The minimum age we will transport puppies through this network is 8 weeks due to the varying state import laws for the states to which we transport.
It is a general consensus in our network that the bordetella vaccine is ineffective and if given close to transport can actually crash the immune system to the point where the dog breaks with kennel cough after trans. If your organization requires this vaccine, then we advise that it be given two weeks prior to the transport of the dog to one of our rescues, to give the dog's immune system some time to bounce back.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING HEALTH FOR SENDING ORGANIZATIONS (shelters and foster-based rescues): All sending organizations must ensure all animals they are sending on our transports are healthy prior to boarding the transport. If a dog coughs, has funky looking stool, or is vomiting even on the morning of the transport, you must hold them back, get treatment, and assign them to another transport once they are healthy. We do not knowingly transport anything communicable to other animals. We will transport dogs with Demodex as long as the vet has certed they are healthy enough for transport and the receiving organization is aware of the condition and agreed to continue treatment and assume the cost for that. Sending organizations must treat all passengers for internal and external parasites (including worms, coccidia, giardia, fleas and ticks) prior to assigning them to a transport date. Any dog aged 6 months or older must have at minimum a heartworm test, but we strongly recommend you instead do a 4DX test to check for tick-related diseases and begin treatment for those diseases prior to transport.
In order to send dogs to Pennsylvania-based rescues, your organization must have the Pennsylvania Out of State Dealer License. You can join our network without it, but will not be able to transfer any dogs to rescues, shelters, or adopters residing in the state of Pennsylvania until you get this license.
We require our sending organizations to have good photos of the dogs. Photos or videos from behind kennel fenceing are not acceptable. The dog must be clearly lighted and contrasted in the photo (i.e., no white dogs photographed against white walls or black dogs photographed in a dark room). Videos interacting with dogs/cats/people are a huge plus and will get your dogs more interest. (We can't stress videos enough!) Photos taken outdoors in sunlight with nice contrast of dog vs background are also a huge plus.
We use an email discussion group to communicate among our network members. You must be able to check email daily and participate in group discussions. Our network is like family and if you are accepted, we want you to communicate and become part of the community.