More News on the Highway to Hell Pet Transports

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In another piece earlier, it was pointed out that adopting out and transporting dangerous pets is irresponsible. These pets have to function within society but there is the no kill push to save them all, putting others at risk in the process. This transportation scheme has been discussed on Opposing Views more than once.

Amy Howland, Co-Founder/Director of Dogma Pet Rescue of Hillsborough, Florida, left an interesting comment. "How can they not screen these homes, do follow up visits, work with the new home and a behaviorist? And what if the person (understandably) wants to return the dog? Do they pay to have the dog shipped back??" These are questions a responsible adoption agency would ask because these are the actions of a responsible rescue.

Transporting pets to other states has become very popular with organizations such as The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation and Best Friends offering financial support . This financial support has also given rise to transport scams. Pets are being transported around this country without any kind of regulation as to the conditions they are transported in or what happens once they arrived at the destination. Animals die en route, some have been abandoned by the side of the road. Bonnie Sheehan of Hearts for Hounds was caught transporting dogs from California to Virginia.

"Sheehan and King-McCracken were arrested Jan. 17 near Memphis, Tenn., after a traffic stop on Interstate 40. They were attempting to transport 141 dogs and a cat across the country from Long Beach to Virginia in a U-Haul truck and towed van.

The Commercial Appeal reported that during a March hearing, Tennessee Trooper Brad Simpson testified: "It was horrible. I mean, we had a dead dog. Dogs bleeding. Dogs with feces and urine all over them.

"They were packed in these crates way too tight. It stunk."

Officials said one dogs was dead and 14 dogs were found to be either dehydrated or suffering from skin disease and lesions.

Sheehan has said the deceased dog died in the course of the traffic stop after it became agitated and fought with another dog. She said she had medicine and had treated all the dogs with skin diseases.

Why was Sheehan taking dogs to Virginia when that State euthanized 47% of the dogs coming into their shelters that year?

There was a recent call in Oregon for California to stem the tide of dogs coming into their state. This is due to a group who took dogs from a California shelter and the dogs ended up in cruel conditions. Porterville, California gave this group up to 80 dogs at a time according to a volunteer with the group. How were these dogs transported, in a van, a UHaul truck?

"The next time an out-of-state rescue wants to adopt from the Porterville Animal Shelter, they will have to undergo a much more rigorous process."

Even more gruesome is the thought that some shelter animals could end up in research labs. But these transports make that quite possible. This article reports this couple brought animals from several sources.

"Court papers said the Martin's failed to follow those guidelines. Investigators allege they bought dogs from a variety of sources, and then falsely used the names of various family members and friends, to make it appear they weren't selling more than 24 per year." Do these sources include transported dogs from shelters?

Another one in Pennsylvania has brought in dogs from Georgia, only to have them reside in cruel conditions. This is an attorney who has used a loophole in a new law in Pennsylvania to curb their problem with puppy mills, breeding, and rescue groups.

"Silva also was cited for poor record keeping and failing to have health certificates for dogs brought in from other states, including Georgia."

Is the transporting of more dogs into areas that have their own problems with a pet overpopulation an ethical thing to do? A passionate plea was made before the Washington State Senate by Mark Hufford, Executive Director of PAWS of Bainbridge Island, that points to how unethical it is to dump more. Yet Southern California groups are doing regular transports into this area crying for help on their pet overpopulation problem.

"Hufford asked both committees to imagine the hearing rooms stacked from floor to ceiling with cages containing the dead animals that are euthanized in our state each week because of animal overpopulation. He described the agony that many animal rescue providers face each day holding healthy dogs and cats, looking in their eyes, and euthanizing them simply because there is no room for them in shelters, especially underfunded ones in the state’s more rural eastern and southern areas."

Question whether your donation dollar is going for these transports. Request that your donation dollar be used only to help your local animals, not to be used to ship them off to unknown conditions.