Between kitten season (which never seems to end) and irresponsible dog owners, shelters are overwhelmed across the United States. While it may be a good idea (or not), I’m seeing a lot of dogs and cats in the southern part of the county being transported to rescues ‘up north.’
The sheer number of animals taken from one part of the county to another has raised concerns, especially in areas where rescues opt to leave the animals in their local shelters and transport from hundreds of miles away.
I put out the thought of why this is happening in a Facebook post but I still have concerns. Others are as concerned as I am. Below I’ll give three examples of what MIGHT be going on in the world of long-distance animal transport.
The discussion topic today is why do so many northern rescues transport from the south?
Northern shelters too difficult to work with and have fewer animals to choose from
A few have commented that northern shelters are too difficult to work with. I take it this means there’s a lot of red tape and paperwork involved in saving a shelter cat or dog. Or the variety (especially with dogs) is poor. Or the price charged by the shelter is too high.
There are special friendships between southerner’s who advocate for dogs or cats and rescues from the north
For example, a shelter advocate from the south is very good friends with someone from the north who operates or volunteers for a rescue. They have a close friendship and agree to transport dogs and cats from the south to the north and find them a good forever home.
Below is the closest I’ve come to a real answer from a cat rescuer who sends cats to a northern rescue.
“Northern states have very strict animal laws. They require records to be kept on all animals, they keep them indoors and they are all chipped. The north doesn’t have a brutal kitten season as we do… the cold weather and the laws there keep it controlled. They pull from kill shelters where the kill rate is extremely high.”
The conspiracy theory
This one is particularly disturbing. Dogs and cats in the south are being transported to the north not for them to be adopted but to be sold to animal labs for testing. Labs supply colleges for dissection.
I have a few friends who firmly believe this. One even says there are photographs of a van sitting in a chosen location with the name of a lab on the side of the van.
Many shelters also have a ‘dirty little secret’ and sell euthanized animals to these labs. It’s hard to track this down with a paper trail but I’ve had reliable people tell me this does happen.
Does any of this make sense?
Does any of this make sense to you? The dogs and cats being transported, supposedly to a forever home may not be going to kill shelters. The question I ask is does anyone know whether rescues who go down south to save animals are doing so at the cost of life at their local shelters.
These rescues are taking animals from another part of the country which means one less spot per animal that could have been filled from their local shelter. Are animals being killed at northern shelters because the rescues are pulling more from far away meaning they don’t have a spot for a local dog or cat?
There may be more red tape involved with a northern shelter. Consider the time and cost of transport and it makes even less sense to move an animal from ‘southern point A’ to ‘northern point B.’
I’m not picking on just north and south. There are plenty of transports that go west to east and east to west. I’m not against transport and yes, saving a life is saving a life. I’ve had several who do animal advocacy for their local shelter only to learn a local rescue is passing over those animals in favor of ones five states away (or more).
It’s not simply a matter of more irresponsible pet owners in the south because I’ve seen just as many cases of animal neglect and animal cruelty taking place in the northern states.
If you have information you wish to remain anonymous in giving, please leave a comment under a fake name or ‘anonymous’ in the moderated comment section. I’ll see they’re approved while protecting your identity.
PLEASE share this article with those you know who are involved in long-distance rescue/transport. There are a lot of people who want the truth and they want answers.
Photo credit: The Greenville Sun.