Our friends at the Rescue Express kindly provided this informative article about their awesome shelter and rescue transport initiative!
“When someone tells you something is free there’s always a catch, but not this time…
Rescue Express, an initiative of MGM Animal Foundation, has been providing free weekly transport for 100-150 dogs and cats on their shiny new customized transport buses for two and half years. Nationally, there are thousands of dedicated rescue people combing thru shelters every day to pull the adoptable animals and find them forever homes.
“We wanted to provide a safe and comfortable transport option for any SoCal rescue group that wanted to use, relocation to the companion animal starved Northwest, as an additional option for finding forever homes for their adoptable animals” says Founder Mike McCarthy.
We provide a free transport service for 250 rescue partners and are just about to pass 10,000 animals transported with a 100% safety and satisfaction record. Our online carrier reservation system allows all our partners instant access to Saturday pickup and Sunday delivery along the 5 Freeway from Los Angeles to Burlington, WA. Our large air conditioned buses with 125 animals on board, manned by a driver and animal attendant, provides an economy of scale that allows us to transport an animal from LA to Seattle for $20. Many of our partners are saving ten times as many animals as they were before partnering us. The whole of, Rescue Express, SoCal partners, and the Northwest rescue partners, is greater than sum of its parts.
We are starting a new transport route along the 15 Freeway, beginning in San Diego, with stops along the way, to Salt Lake City, maybe to Boise, ending in parts as yet determined. We are in need of rescue groups and shelters in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and Canada willing to meet us, on Saturday afternoons, at an exit on the 15 Freeway, to take adoptable animals from our SoCal partners. Our sending and receiving partners work directly with each other selecting animals to be transported. We maintain a list of sending and receiving partners on our website that is available to all our approved partners.
Currently, we have not been eligible for available significant transport grants because our model doesn’t follow every one of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians transport guidelines. We have provided field data showing our methods to be safer and more comfortable for the animals. We need the public’s support to fund our $200,000 operating budget to save 10,000 more animal lives over the next twelve months.
We are also willing to share all aspects of our transport model with anyone interested in starting a Rescue Express transport program in their part of the country. Everything from procuring a bus and outfitting it, to setup of our online reservation system, and implementing all our written process and procedures to operate a successful and safe transport program.”