RESCUE TRANSPORT DRIVER GUIDELINES ~ GENERAL
Please remember, these guidelines are for the safety and comfort of the dogs. That’s what transport is all about. I want you to enjoy the drive as well, but there may be some things on this list that require you to make a few concessions during your travel time, so I thank you in advance for understanding and complying. If you are interested in driving, after reading the guidelines below, click here to complete an application.
MUST NOT leave dogs unattended/loose, with any windows open, at any time during transport or hand off (loading/unloading/driving).
MUST crate or securely tether all passengers in your vehicle. Tethering is easy and you can keep spare leashes dangling in wait, without them getting in the way.
MUST NOT allow additional dogs on the transport that are not included on the run sheet, unless you have been instructed by me
MUST remember that transports are stressful for rescue dogs and they may suffer from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea – to help avoid unnecessary upset, do not feed during transport (a few treats are ok)
MUST NOT bring your personal dogs with you. While they may be friendly and love riding in the car, they may not accept a new dog inside “their” vehicle
MUST keep the leash attached to the collar during the entire transport (all dogs will come with their own leash/collar)
MUST NOT transport dogs in the bed of a truck, even if crated and covered – dogs must be inside a temperature controlled vehicle at all times. This means a/c in the summer, heater in the winter. If yours is not working, please do not volunteer to drive at this time.
MUST clean their vehicle of debris and clutter before transport. Dogs should ride in a clean area, preferably on a blanket or sheet, for their comfort. This means a/c in the summer, heater in the winter. If yours is not working, please do not volunteer to drive at this time.
MUST NOT smoke while you have dogs in your vehicle, even with the window cracked. Some dogs are more sensitive to smoke than others, and this only invites car sickness.
MUST make sure the dog(s) are secure BEFORE opening any doors – this means leash unchewed and attached to collar, collar secured/unchewed, leash in hand!
MUST NOT allow the general public to interact with the dogs during transports ~ remember that rescue dogs can become stressed and we don’t want someone getting bitten
MUST spray your vehicle with Lysol (or similar disinfectant) after every transport. Spray a cloud, close up the car, let sit overnight. Although dogs on my transports have been out of the shelter for 2+ weeks (unless otherwise noted), it is one extra/inexpensive step to kill many cooties.
MUST NOT change/loosen/remove collars or harnesses unless approved by the monitor.
MUST never assume that the other drivers are following all the guidelines. If you think a driver is being unsafe, or is not following protocol, please send a private email, with all information, to firstname.lastname@example.org ~ All reports are kept confidential and handled in a private manner.
I truly hope you will enjoy rescue transport and wish to continue in the future. If so, please consider keeping a “rescue kit” in your vehicle that might include:
(preferably in a water resistant container)
- Extra leashes ~ vet style no slip are perfect
- Tethers (I suggest chain leashes that remain secured at all times and are hard to chew!)
- A water bowl (wash after every transport)
- Fresh water
- Paper towels
- Plastic grocery bags (great for trash)
- Poo bags (or even cheap sandwich bags)
- Clean/dry/old towels and sheets (wash after every transport)
- Plant based cleaner (such as Simple Green) in case a crate needs cleaned
- Anti-bacterial hand gel
- Wet wipes
- Damp towels/paper towels in large Ziploc ~ pups may need cleaned up (for No Paws transports)
- Plastic drop cloth – cheap at Target (for No Paws transports)
- Pee pads or newspapers (for No Paws transports or crates)
- Lysol (for disinfecting after transports) ~ spray a cloud, close up the vehicle, let sit overnight
RESCUE TRANSPORT DRIVER GUIDELINES ~ SPECIFIC
Once a transport is filled, or by 5 pm the day prior to transport start, I send out a run sheet that includes personal contact information for each driver, as well as meeting locations for the hand offs. There will be bullet points in the body of that email, but there are also links that are included. All instructions are very important to the safety and success of a rescue transport.
First and foremost, I, like you, am a volunteer. Please be aware that these animals are in need of transport because they are sometimes in dire situations. I take every precaution, through my transport protocol, to ensure these animals are free of infectious diseases, but please know that there is always a possibility something has not shown itself. Neither I, the sending party, or the receiving party can be held liable for any illnesses the dog contracts, or shows symptoms of, AFTER the original health certificate was given; be it before, during or after the transport.
Make sure cell phones are charged and turned on. If you utilize a phone for transports only, it must be turned on from the beginning of the transport (leg one) to the completion of your leg. This is crucial as being on a transport is the time leading up to and including the completion of your leg. A big misconception is that you are only on transport when you are driving. Problems can happen well before your leg and result in changes to your leg.
It is also important that you monitor your email and ensure that the email address that you use for transports is one that you can easily access for updates. I send a transport update after every hand off to advise how dogs are traveling, if we are ahead or behind, and any other information that may be important to a safe run.
Final run sheets contain personal information for drivers and are not to be shared with anyone not related to the transport – I strongly enforce this rule because I do not approve of someone getting placed on a mass email list without their approval.
PLEASE BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WITH YOU ON YOUR LEG
- The run sheet (print out the entire run sheet, not just your leg)
- Your rescue kit (see above under general guidelines)
- A camera to share pics with your coordinator (who lives vicariously through you!)
**All rescue dogs are flight risks; make sure before you open your door that leashes are attached to collars and securely tethered**