Friday, March 26, 2010

Rescue Waggin' Comes to Town!

At 5:00 Thursday morning, two guys in a truck filled with 20 dogs set out from the Augusta Regional SPCA in Staunton, Virginia and began driving north. The guys are drivers for PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin'. Rescue Waggin' saves the lives of dogs and puppies by transporting them from areas of high pet population (where they face almost certain euthanasia) to areas like the Pioneer Valley where adoptable dogs are in high demand.

While Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society has operated its popular "Dixie Dogs" program since 2003, our relationship with Rescue Waggin' is a new one. In fact, Dakin is the first New England animal welfare organization to become a part of the Rescue Waggin' program.

Rescue Waggin' partnership offers several advantages. In the past, Dakin staff have had to negotiate the arrangements with our partner agencies in the South. We had to help them understand our disease control standards, quarantine requirements, and behavior evaluations. With Rescue Waggin', PetSmart Charities assumes the task of training the sending and receiving agencies to work together. Not only do we have a standardized behavior evaluation, but we also have standardized paperwork and health certificates.

Best of all, PetSmart Charities works with the sending community to put programs in place to end overpopulation (spay/neuter!) while covering the transport costs for the receiving organization so that we can invest our hard-earned money in programs in our community that help animals in need (cats! pitbulls! rabbits!). Participation in the Rescue Waggin' program could save Dakin as much as $20,000 a year--no small sum when it comes to saving animals' lives!

The latest load of 14 dogs (6 of the 20 were dropped off at the ASPCA in New York City) will go through their state-mandated 48-hour quarantine period here at Dakin's Springfield Adoption & Education Center. At the end of that quarantine, we'll have our veterinary staff examine them, provide them with any necessary medical treatment or vaccinations, send them over to the Dakin Community Spay/Neuter Clinic for a quick snip, and then we'll split them between our Leverett and Springfield adoption centers. In only a few short days, this latest round of lucky Dixie Dogs will be living the good life in their new Yankee homes.

Whenever we talk about Dixie Dogs, we want to remind people of two important points: First, Dakin staff work very hard to make sure that we help every local homeless dog we can, including those housed at animal control agencies in our own communities and around Massachusetts. Second, wonderful dogs die every day in this country for lack of a home. It is our obligation to do everything we can to put an end to that tragedy.

As I write this, my Dixie dog, Howard, and my Yankee dog, Grampy, are snoring next to me. Who says the North and the South can't get along?


  1. What a wonderful thing you are doing!!

  2. Wish the photos of your adoptable dogs came up faster. Or maybe they're lucky enough to find homes before the photos are ready.

    There are some VERY cute dogs on the Augusta website though...hope they find homes.