Transport In The Time of COVID-19

We, like any other business, are finding ourselves suspended in the air while trying to grasp on to this COVID-19 crisis. With constantly changing operations, planning ahead for the complete unknown, we are doing our best to keep the community safe and informed.

Someone relayed the following analogy to me the other day:

“We are all on an airplane with no wings and are trying to build them while we’re flying 30,000 feet in the air with no pilot. None of us have any idea what we’re doing and are making it up as we go.”

Despite all of the chaos, we know we need to get as far ahead of the game as we can. We decided to make a push for one more transport before everything would come to a screeching halt. Many shelters are closing their transport programs, and for good reason, but knowing our community will soon need our help more than ever before, it became crucial for us to empty out as much of our dog population as possible to areas where adoption outlets are still flourishing.

I should say now that most of this happened thanks to the very confident and determined Laura Fletcher-Taylor with Loving Friends Transport. While many of us shake our heads and can’t possibly imagine plans for a transport would stick, Laura nods and assures us it will. Laura helps facilitate a transport with us once a month and is an integral partner in these trying times. I want to sincerely thank her for everything she does for the animals in south Louisiana.

Not to mention, it turns out she was right. Many of our transport partners are still absolutely ready and willing to receive our most in need dogs, fast track their way towards adoptions and lighten our load for Acadiana — for now. Partnering with two local municipal shelters, Lafayette Parish Animal Shelter and Care Center and Calcasieu Parish Animal Shelter, we filled a transport vehicle with 64 dogs! Among these 64 dogs are TWO pregnant and TWO nursing moms (one with a litter of 7, another with a litter of 5). These are some of the most at-risk and fragile lives in municipal shelters and COVID-19 will NOT stand in our way to save them.

There is also a dog named Mercy who originated from St. Landry Parish Animal Shelter and came to us in August after recovering from a deeply embedded chain. She was with us for 270 days and while she had tons of adoption interest throughout that time, the adoptions consistently fell through for reasons that were far beyond her. Mercy is just one of 64 lucky dogs who NEED this transport opportunity. Transport means so much for so many dogs and cats who sometimes just aren’t having the best luck. Giving them access to a whole new pool of adopters can turn that bad luck upside down.

On Monday the 23rd, 64 dogs went from two municipal shelters and our facility to five different receiving shelters in Florida and some of them already had adoptive homes lined up. We want to thank The Humane Society of Tampa Bay, VIP Rescue, Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida, PAWS Rescue Group and The Pixel Fund for being a source of light while we navigate this new unknown. This transport really showcases what we can accomplish when united. EIGHT shelters make a difference together and each of our community’s support gives us this lifesaving avenue.

We know this was our last transport for a long time — a reality that is hard to face. However, trust that we will absolutely find creative ways to help the community’s animal population. We are working with some amazing and inspiring shelters across the world and I know that while this is a difficult, scary and confusing time, we are capable of building our plane’s wings to fly steadily again.