Transporting rescue dogs to other states, not always a good idea - Animal Advocates, Mary Cummins
By now I'm sure you heard about the rescue group driving an SUV with a horse trailer full with over 30 rescue dogs from Los Angeles to Canada. The vehicles rolled over on the highway and dogs and crates ended up thrown and scattered in the road. Some died instantly, others were injured so badly they had to be euthanized and still others ran away in fear and are lost in the area. Below is a news article with video. You don't see the roll over or any injured or dead animals. Police believe the cause was driver error most likely fatigue.
From the article, "Two women were reportedly driving to Edmonton from Los Angeles — hauling a horse trailer filled with 30 rescue dogs — when they lost control of their SUV. It happened roughly two kilometres south of the Olds overpass on Highway 2 around 7 a.m. Saturday, according to officials. Three dogs were killed and several others wounded. “There were dogs all over the highway. Some were dead, some were not moving, some were unconscious,” said April Oakes."
Back in early 2006 I did some research into doing a free animal delivery service in Los Angeles. I wanted to pick up poor people's pets and take them to and from a spayneuter clinic for free. People without transportation are the ones that need it the most. That is more cost effective than a spay mobile. I have doing this on a small scale myself in my PT Cruiser paying for all the surguries and/or using coupons. I wanted to transport animals on a bigger scale so I did some research.
I would need an enclosed vehicle with full roll cage and protection (not a horse trailer) with climate control (AC, heat) with racks permanently welded to the inside of the vehicle, cargo van so I could securely attach the crates to the racks in case of a collision with heavy duty tie down straps that I use for transporting motorcycles. I wasn't able to raise enough funds to buy a used cargo van and weld permanent racks so I continued to do it on a small scale. I used tie down straps to attach the crates to heavy metal attachments in the car. My goal was to safely transport animals in a stress free environment to be spayed or neutered and returned safely home.
If those animals were transported in that manner, they would not have died or been as badly injured. They would not have been thrown out of the vehicle or onto the road. You can't just shove crates into an open horse trailer and use bungee cords. I'm sure the temperature changes, noise, lack of proper suspension made it for a very rough ride.
Below is an article written by Merritt Clifton of Animal People who's been researching and writing about animals for over 30 years if not more. Merritt brings up many other issues about rescue animal transport such as spread of disease, safety, transparency into what actually happens to the animals...
While I am thankful people want to help animals, we need to do it in a safe and effective manner for the sake of the animals. Driving an SUV with a loaded horse trailer is not just like driving your car by any means. People who transport anything long distance via vehicles also must take needed breaks for the sake of the animals and drivers. There probably are even regulations in regard to transporting more than a few animals via vehicles even if you don't charge.
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.
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