“Helping a dog get out of a bad situation into a good one by volunteering an hour or two of my time on a weekend has been so satisfying. I enjoy seeing how the dog I have transported is doing in their foster or their forever home and happy to be a small part of the process.”
Almost every weekend there are road warriors who volunteer to help transport homeless English Setters on behalf of A Better English Setter Rescue across the United States.
The dogs come from a variety of difficult situations that result in some needing expensive and extensive vetting, physical and emotional recuperation and training before they are ready to be adopted. First, they need to get to a safe and stable foster home to receive the care they need.
Jane Grothusen has been coordinating rescue transports for over 18 years. Jane started doing transports because she wanted to help the rescue and transport is where they needed help at the time. “It is satisfying that I am able to help these poor animals.”
The logistics to find and coordinate as many as 20 volunteer drivers across many states, hundreds of miles to get the dogs from a temporary foster to a foster or to their forever home is like putting together a puzzle. A route is needed, with easily accessible and safe transfer locations along the way. Unexpected situations such as weather issues, dogs who get loose, and covering for drivers who must cancel can be especially challenging. Often the dogs need an overnight and a second day of travel. Jane is adept at managing the logistics and has recruited additional volunteers to help since transports are needed more than ever with an increase in English Setters needing help.
A driver volunteers their time and gas for a 'leg' that goes through the area near where they live and typically is a 60–90-minute portion of the total transport. The driver is careful during handoffs from one vehicle to another and makes sure the new driver receives all the documentation, and toys/bedding/leashes/food/medicines that are traveling with the dog to their destination. Drivers communicate through a group email during the transport, letting everyone else know how the dog is doing, whether they are running ahead or behind and sometimes include pictures.
English Setters are in safe and happy homes thanks to the village of volunteers at A Better English Setter Rescue.