I am a Transport Coordinator for transferring animals from shelters, rescues, and owner surrenders. My background, I feel, is GOD-GIVEN due to the fact my elderly father is a retired owner-operator of his own semi-truck leased out to Watkins, Malone Freight, etc. Before the interstate system was in place, I was one of those ‘rug rats’ that rode in the sleeper cab before I was 6 years of age. If Mother and I were not traveling with Dad she would have a road atlas showing me what road Dad was traveling. I can’t explain it but tell me to point a and b on the map and I can tell you within 1 hour how long it will take you to travel it. Dad passed away in 2018. I lost my mother in October 2016. I have an associate’s degree from a local community college in computer accounting.
Meet Smokey, the namesake of Smokey's Buddies transport. He is a tri-colored poodle. He passed away in 1993, so excuse his hair-do! He stayed outside and loved it. If dad went to the garden he had to follow. I did keep his hair cut during the summertime. This photo was made during the winter. Smokey was a stray that was dumped near the Monroe/Loudon county line in TN on an elderly school teacher. When I picked him up from his 1st grooming appointment I was warned by the groomer "Handle him with kid gloves, Rita." Why? He is an abuse case with car cigarette burns plus a leather belt on his shoulder to his opposite side. His personality proved it also. It took me several months to win his trust...BUT I DID!
Thank you for requesting transport to get animals to safety and to a furever home. Please read all documents, waivers, and form below thoroughly before submitting the Transport Request form and waiver.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL TRANSPORTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
· Minimum 14-day quarantine from a home-based shelter – this can be in home-based fosters, boarding facilities - if kept separated from any unvaccinated animals and animal clinics. Transport will happen the weekend following the 14-day quarantine period. If the area the animals are coming from has a high outbreak of Lepto, Parvo, Canine Flu, etc., the quarantine time frame will be increased.
· No transports will be from or to BREEDERS. We are not doing the transports to line someone’s pocket at the expense of animals dying all the time in the shelters.
· All vaccines, including Bordetella, deworming, rabies, and 5 way – some areas require the 7 way, must be up to date before the transport.
· NO VACCINES OR WORMER SHALL BE GIVEN WITHIN 7 DAYS OF THE TRANSPORT.
· NO HEARTWORM POSITIVE DOGS WILL BE TRANSPORTED TO ANY ADOPTER OR RESCUE WITHOUT PRIOR CHECKING OF THE STATE LAWS. SOME STATES MAKE THIS A FEDERAL OFFENSE.
· All dogs, if age and health appropriate, must be altered, or there must be a written agreement between the receivers and senders to have them altered by the age of 6 months.
· NO TRANSPORT WITHIN 7 DAYS OF SURGERY
· Sometimes, dogs get stressed on the trip and may need Benadryl as a last resort. If the drivers see this, we may need to give a low dose of Benadryl to the dog; the usual dosage is 1-2 mg per pound. The receiving rescue must approve all medications to be given. Other products are available and must be provided by the sender or receiver; those include Rescue Remedy, calm ease, etc.
· I prefer to have the dog brushed the night before a bath, putting the hair in a zip lock bag with their name written on it. This will be put with the animal's travel package, with their name on the outside. Each sender needs to send separately 2 wash clothes that have their scent on them. These items must also be marked with the animal’s name – foster pack.
· Cats must travel in a plastic crate with a litter pan and water. Additional information for transporting cats is available upon request.
· Each animal must come with at least 3 days of food, divided into individual meals; 7 days during December to March.
· All animals must have a Certificate of Veterinary inspection if traveling across state lines.
· All paperwork must be emailed to me within 48 hours before the transport is to happen. Ex: I must receive the paperwork before Thursday if the trip is scheduled for Saturday.
· If the animal(s) are going to the adopter, the veterinarian and personal reference proof must be sent. Smokey’s Buddies Transport will arrange a home visit with their volunteers.
· All dogs must be Safer tested, or written proof must be provided that the dog is not aggressive due to the safety of the drivers. Rule of thumb, if it is not safe for Pilots and Paws to handle the dog, it is not safe for the drivers.
· I do not pay gas money – if a driver requests gas money, that will be up to the rescue or adopter receiving the animal to approve.
· No more than 3 medium crates allowed per transport. The total weight of the animals per crate will also be considered. Ex: Medium crate 36.5 L x 23.25 W x 24.75 H will hold approximately 40 lbs total weight.
· Most of my volunteer drivers have SUVs or vans. I will not allow them to be overloaded, putting the animals under stress and the higher chance of flight risk.
· We have a weight limit of any dogs being transported being no larger than 80 lbs. This is due to some of them need help getting in and out of vehicles.
· My run sheets are created in a Word document. The Facebook post is as follows:
Leg no 1:
Once each leg is filled, ONLY the driver’s first name and last initials will appear on the posts.
When the run sheet is filled, it will be sent via EMAIL to the ones involved in the transport. BUT THE LEGS WILL BE AS FOLLOWS:
Leg no 1:
Meeting place in: - THE MEETING PLACES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
home-based phone no:
I set up a group message on Facebook for all the ones involved in the transport.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer/driver. Please read all documents, waivers, and forms carefully before submitting the application form and transport waiver.
VOLUNTEER DRIVER GUIDELINES – NO EXCEPTIONS!
· DRIVERS ARE VOLUNTEERS AND DRIVE AT THEIR OWN RISK. SENDING AND RECEIVING RESCUES OR PERSONS, ALONG WITH THE TRANSPORT COORDINATOR WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY INJURIES, LOSS, OR THEFT.
· PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR OWN PETS ON TRANSPORTS. THIS IS TO PROTECT YOUR PETS, ALONG WITH THE ANIMAL(S) BEING TRANSPORTED. ALL DOGS ARE TO BE HAULED INSIDE THE CAR, VAN, OR SUV. ABSOLUTELY NO TRUCK BEDS, EVEN IF THE ANIMAL(S) IN CRATES OR KENNELS.
· DUE TO PARVOVIRUS, PUPPIES ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT ALLOWED ON THE GROUND UNDER THE AGE OF 6 MONTHS – NO EXCEPTIONS!
· VERIFY PAPERWORK BEFORE TRANSFERRING ANIMAL(S) EACH STOP HANDOFF.
· EACH DOG IS REQUIRED TO BE TETHERED IN VEHICLE, OR IN A CRATE – NO CRATES WILL BE PROVIDED –CHECK BEFORE HAND TO SEE IF CRATE IS NEEDED
· EACH STOP IS SCHEDULED FOR A 15 MINUTE TIME FOR POTTY BREAK AND TRANSFER OF ANIMAL(S). MOST DOGS DO NOT NEED TO BE POTTIED AT EACH STOP BUT EVERY OTHER ONE USUALLY WORKS.
· DON’T FORGET TO DOUBLE LEASH AND HARNESS
· BOTTLED WATER AND TREATS IN SMALL AMOUNTS ARE OK – USA MADE TREATS ONLY! We want to prevent motion sickness! ALWAYS ASK PERMISSION FOR THE TREATS.
· THE TRANSPORT COORDINATOR WILL SET UP A GROUP TEXT MESSAGING ON CELL PHONES AND A GROUP CHAT ON FACEBOOK.
· THE MEETING PLACES ARE STICTLY SUGGESTIONS, DRIVERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO DISCUSS CHANGING THEM, BUT NEED TO LET THE TRANSPORT COORDINATOR KNOW OF ANY CHANGES MADE DUE TO ANY POSSIBLE EMERGENCIES THAT ARISE. MEETING LOCATIONS THAT ARE NOT ALLOWED TO INCLUDE SUPER STORES, SUCH AS TARGET, WALMART, SAMS, COSTCO OR SHOPPING MALLS THAT HAVE MORE THAN 10 STORES. IDEAL LOCATIONS ARE HOTELS AND SMALL TRAVEL CENTERS OFF OF THE HIGHWAY MAIN EXIT.
· DRIVERS ARE ABLE TO CONTACT THE TRANSPORT COORDINATOR VIA PHONE IF HELP IS NEEDED WITH DIRECTIONS OR QUESTIONS, OR IN THE CASE OF AN EMERGENCY – EX: DOG GETS LOOSE OR SICK, CONTACT THE COORDINATOR ASAP.
· PICTURES AT EACH STOP WOULD BE APPRECIATED – PLEASE POST ON FACEBOOK GROUP CHAT SO EVERYONE’S HEART CAN BE STOLEN BEFORE RECEIVING THE DOG. THIS HELPS THE TRANSPORT COORDINATOR TO MONITOR THE STRESS ON THE DOG.
· THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL DRIVERS:
· CELL NUMBER
· EMAIL ADDRESS
· EMERGENCY CONTACT
· VEHICLE DESCRIPTION – MAKE, MODEL, COLOR, TAG NO.
· ANY QUESTIONS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO SMOKEYSBUDDIESTRANSPORT859@GMAIL.COM
OR PRIVATE MESSAGE FACEBOOK TO: Rita Ritchey