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Paws-itively Safe: A Guide to Transporting Animals as a Volunteer

At Bark at the Moon Animal Rescue, the safety of both the staff and the animals is a top priority. Animals are most likely to be lost during transport, especially in the first 3 months of settling into a new home, so it is of the utmost importance to implement proper transport techniques. Every volunteer should familiarize themselves with our policies and protocols designed to ensure a safe and fun trip!

1) Never leave an animal unattended in a vehicle

2) Animals must be restrained or contained while in transport
  • Cats: In carriers throughout the transport

  • Dogs: Double leashed (collar and harness) at all times. During transport, dogs must be contained in their crate if it will fit in the vehicle, or restrained in the back seat with a seatbelt attachment connected to the harness. NEVER restrain by the collar

3) Monitor Temperature - without the windows
  • Keep the vehicle at a reasonable and safe temperature

  • Do not have your windows down during transport, even when an animal is in their crate or carrier

4) No face-to-face interactions
  • We do not allow foster dogs to meet stranger dogs

  • We especially do not want any face-to-face interactions to occur for everyone’s safety

  • Always give the dog/cat space from other animals and people - including yourself!

5) Get from A to B with no stops
  • Do not stop mid-transport unless there is an emergency

  • Take the animal from point A to point B and do not take them out of their restraint or containment during transport

6) Give yourself more time than you think
  • This is important especially during high-traffic times and in inclement weather

7) Prep your car beforehand
  • You don’t need a spotless vehicle, but you should consider removing items that may be in the way or taking up space

  • Please ensure you have enough gas prior to picking up the animal so additional stops do not have to be made

  • Consider the weather, and ensure you have everything that you may need (enough windshield fluid, a car scraper, AC for hot days, etc.)

Recommended things to have on hand:

  • Blanket/towel/seat cover for your backseat or to cover the crate of an over stimulated animal

  • Treats to make fast friends or to lure nervous dogs

  • Cleaning supplies for accidents (wipes or disinfectant/paper towel/poop bags or garbage bag)

  • Seat belt attachment and/or extra leash

  • Hand sanitizer or wipes

  • A fully charged phone and/or a phone charger

8) Communication is Key
  • Communicate effectively and timely with all involved parties

  • Update ETAs as necessary

  • Do not text and drive

  • If you have questions please ask at any time! Ready to help out at Bark at the Moon? Apply to become a transport volunteer today!


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