Locals drive shelter dogs across country to find homes

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A twelve-hour journey, but one well worth the trip. 

Volunteers with Greater Huntsville Humane Society are making the drive every few weeks to help local dogs find their forever homes.

We spoke to Shannon Siegel, of Greater Huntsville Humane Society: She says, “It’s so important to the lives of the animals that we send up there because, not only are we able to save their lives– but we’re able to bring in more animals for adoption.”

GHHS partners with the Humane Society of Washington County in Hagerstown, Maryland. In a program called, “HHOT Dogz Transport,” local volunteers, and even workers from the shelter– on their own time– drive up to Maryland in teams of two. Taking up to twenty dogs at a time. Chyna Varksdale just recently made the trip. 

Varksdale says, “It was awesome. We got there, she gave us a tour of the facility. We saw all the animals that got second chances there.” 

RELATED: Free medium and large dog adoptions at Huntsville Animal Services during construction

The shelter in Maryland has a high need for family friendly dogs and puppies. They have people in the area who are looking to adopt, but simply don’t always have the numbers. 

The arrangement  works out for both shelters– but most importantly, the dogs. The average turnaround for a dog to get adopted at Greater Huntsville Humane Society is 16 days. The average turnaround at the Humane Society of Washington County? Just 3.5 days. 

Chyna Varksdale says it’s one trip she’ll never forget. She adds, “I know for a fact they got good homes, we got all the adoption pictures, and it was a great experience for us emotionally.”

Shannon Siegel says, “It’s a great feeling, to know… especially those dogs who’ve been here for a while- who are outside our averages and have had to wait a little longer. And people aren’t applying for them. People are just passing them up. It’s great to be able to send them somewhere and people are snatching them up just as quickly as they get there.”

Senior dogs, dogs whose breeds might be surrounded with misconceptions, or even some who’ve had a long stay in the shelter without much luck are all perfect candidates to make the trip to find their forever homes. We’re told almost every dog that’s been transported has found a home in less than a week. 

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