Rescue Waggin'

 |  Mar 5th 2009  |   0 Contributions


I came across an article today about Rescue Waggin', a group that picks up dogs from high kill shelters and transports them to a safe place to avoid euthanasia. Last week I posted the story about a German Shepherd in a high kill shelter who had Til Tuesday to find a home.

The GS was taken in by New Beginnings Rescue in South Carolina. He now has a temporary place to keep him safe until he goes to his forever home. If anyone is interested in adopting him please contact the rescue directly.

Twenty-two homeless dogs went on a life-saving journey from Salt Lake City to Boulder, Colo., on Feb. 24.

Salt Lake County Animal Services sent the dogs, which range in age from 2 months to 5 years, on a Rescue Waggin' to Humane Society of Boulder Valley to help them find a home and avoid euthanasia.

Because the shelter experiences an animal intake that is significantly larger than its takeout -- 32 dogs and cats arrive for every six that are adopted per day -- and the shelter can't keep them forever, the animals are put to sleep after a week or four weeks, depending on health and temperament, said April Harris, shelter operations manager of Salt Lake County Animal Services.

"In the animal welfare community there are a number of shelters that have incredibly high intake, and some have space," said Kim Noetzel, communication manager for PetSmart Charities, a nonprofit organization that funds the Rescue Waggin' program.

The reason Utah dogs go to Colorado is that the shelter there has more kennel space and a greater number of people seeking dogs, Harris said.

"It gets animals leaving our shelter alive," she said.

Humane Society of Boulder Valley receives about 2,000 dogs per year from transfer partners, said Connie Howard, the society's vice president of operations. The shelter took in 1,239 dogs from the public last year and 2,329 from its 30 active transfer partners.

The shelter organized 3,176 dog adoptions last year, so without these transfers, "it would've been empty," Howard said.

The Salt Lake City shelter has helped more than 200 dogs avoid euthanasia since joining the program. Rescue Waggin' has run since 2004, it is a nationwide program. Approximately 25,000 dogs have been saved to date.

PetSmart Charities estimates it will transport 6,000 to 8,000 dogs to help them find a loving home. As an aside, I really dislike using the word euthanasia. If you look it up in the dictionary it is defined as a 'mercy killing' and described as a painless death. What is done to these innocent animals is neither out of mercy or painless. Let's call a spade a spade, it is the killing of innocent animals.

*Al Hartmann/The Salt Lake Tribune

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