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The Vital Role of Logistics in Animal Rescue
The Vital Role of Logistics in Animal Rescue
September 18, 2020
In the Animal Rescue arena, being able to safely transport an animal (Rudy the cat, Blondie the dog, or Sassy the potbellied pig…) to where it can be adopted, can mean saving the life of that animal. As the world continues to change, so must our ways of thinking about animals, including the methods and resources that we use to get them to a safe location. Globally, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, Animal Rescue organizations, and the everyday good samaritan, whom we'll call "Sharon", that care about the well-being of animals, are inventing, adopting, and developing innovative ways to do just that, and transportation plays a key role.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sharon threw caution to the wind and rescued Rudy the cat off the streets where another crisis is being battled, that of animal overpopulation. With the nation essentially on hold, her odds of finding an adopter for Rudy seemed daunting, so she closed her eyes, took a deep breath and then did what so many others did during Covid… Sharon got busy on Google Search! As she did, something amazing started to happen. The ideas started flying in… save animals, meet new people, travel the country or even the WORLD transporting animals! In a snap of the fingers, daunting became energizing as long-time passions melded together and crisis became opportunity!

The transportation of animals has been taking place for thousands of years and for a variety of purposes, including the circus, military, livestock, research, and zoos. Only after the turn of the century did Pet Transport, the transfer of an adoptable pet from an over populated area to one that isn’t, really take flight (pun). Social media and networking have played a large part in that, as we’ve become well versed in the message of ‘adopt don’t shop’ and zero kill. We’ve seen supply and demand result in a shift of animals from high population areas to ones that have a need, like Michigan for example, that needs large hearty dogs that can bear the brunt of the cold climate. Out of those years and variety of experiences, best practices have been developed on how to go about a transfer, including medical oversight and safety for each animal, from which we continue to learn.

Supposing that Rudy is ‘travel ready’ (fully vetted with current tags and microchip registration), the focus is now on finding the right transport and managing the technicalities of travel. Standards exist for shipping pets that, depending on the logistics, will include fulfilling documentation requirements driven by mode of transport and/or border crossings (state, country). The cost of transporting an animal can vary widely depending on the distance, mode of transport (ground, air, ocean), needs of the animal, and special amenities provided. Several transport options exist and can range from private jet service with a personal escort to a mass rescue/relocation effort performed by volunteers who take a marathon approach of transporting individual segments of the journey, handing off to the next segment. Some transports, having moved over 100,000 pets all over the globe are very sophisticated, offering airport concierge and U.S. Customs Clearance services. They take pride in having hired the most reliable, competent, and qualified operators.

Like the Shipping and Transportation industries, some Pet transports offer classes of service such as PetConomy, PetExpress and PetFirstClass, as well as additional services such as Pet Protection, GPS Tracking, Customs Broker Finder Service, Vet Care Service, and non-stop travel for the fastest service door-to-door. As with any shipment, there are many options available to consider, so many in fact, that contacting a specialist in the industry might very well be worth the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pet will make it safely to its destination.

Senior Systems Analyst ~ ConnectShip
Melanie Gardner is a Sr Systems Analyst with UPS/ConnectShip and has been with ConnectShip 8 years. Melanie holds a Bachelors in Computer Science and has worked in the transportation industry her entire career (American Airlines, EDS, HP, and HireRight) the majority of that time in computer programming.

Melanie is active in her community through her work in establishing and running a nonprofit, T-Town TNR, an all-volunteer 100% donation funded organization, where she is Vice President, Board member, and then some! TNVR is the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return of free roaming cats and helps to reduce the cat population through spay and neuter and make them healthier with the vaccinations they receive during the process. Melanie performs a full spectrum of activities that range from trapping cats and teaching others, to negotiating the purchase of microchips. She particularly enjoys IT related activities such as providing the tools to capture requests and manage the data which is key to everything they do. T-Town-TNR put 1,377 cats through their program in 2019 and hopes to top that number despite all of the Covid-19 challenges they faced, thanks to a hard working team of animal advocates!