If you are one of the millions of people who own a dog or a cat, than you understand the special bond people have with their pets…a bond that changes the word “animal” to “family.”
They are by your side when you are sick, need some love, or just want a little company. So go ahead and admit it, from time to time you have snuck them a little extra treat at dinnertime, let him or her sleep in the comfort of your own bed, and provided them with more toys then a typical toy store. But not all dogs have these luxuries.
Millions of dogs and cats enter shelters each year after being abandoned, abused, lost, or just unable to live with their owner anymore. Even sadder, half of these dogs, along with 70% of cats are removed from shelters because they cannot find a home. But one non-profit organization is determined to change this.
It began back in 2005 with a truck driver named Sue Wiese who, months after Hurricane Katrina, decided to help reunite those people who were affected by the hurricane, with their pets and to help those pets who were stranded find a new home. Therefore, she created a non-profit organization, named Operation Roger in memory of her dog, a long-time companion of hers which she rescued from a shelter and took on the road with her, asking truck drivers to help deliver these pets to much needed homes across the nation.
Over 80 truck drivers jumped on board, eagerly volunteering their services to help those animals in need.
Picture this, you are looking at the online classifieds and find a dog that you want. The only problem is, they are located several states away. Think of how many more animals would have homes if the shelter they were in was closer to the individual willing to adopt them. That’s were Operation Roger comes in.
Operation Roger receives hundreds of requests for pet transports, which are sent in, reviewed, and posted onto the organization’s PetBoard for a small tax-deductable donation of $25. These listings are then matched up to volunteer truck drivers who are traveling in those directions and willing to deliver the pet either to a shelter which has more room to accommodate them or to an individual themselves.
The pet (which can be a dog, cat, bird, or other small animal) joins the driver in the cab for the ride, keeping the driver company and receiving the love and attention they too need. Since 2005, nearly 600 dogs have been delivered across the nation.
In order to ensure the delivery of even more pets, Operation Roger is asking for volunteers, explaining to truck drivers that their job comes first, allowing them to decide when and where to meet an individual to pick up and deliver a pet, making it convenient for the driver. The driver is also provided with everything necessary for the trip including “at least 10 days of food, a crate if pet is under 30 pounds, a proper collar/harness and leash, toys, etc.,” according to the organization’s website.
If a driver is unable to take the pet the whole way to their destination, there are other options that can be arranged. These include layover homes (in which a driver can keep the pet, working their way to the destination or hooking up with another driver who can then finish transporting the pet), shuttle driver (who transports the pet from driver-to-driver, driver to home, etc.), and non-pet transport (in which drivers can transport other much needed items, such as pet food, to a rescue).
Learn more about Operation Roger and get involved by going to http://operationroger.rescuegroups.org.
Road Scholar Transport cares deeply about our pets, which is why we are in the process of creating a new awareness trailer dedicated to man’s (and woman’s) best friend…our dog. Our new truck will feature ten of our country’s top dogs, voted on by you, along with a fun fitting slogan chosen from your entries. There is still time to submit your photos for a chance to have your pooch’s picture on our nationwide tractor trailer! Submit your entries and slogan ideas to Kristina.firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don’t forget to cast your votes for America’s top dogs by going to http://www.roadscholarawareness.org/awareness-campaign/dog-contest/. But hurry, the voting deadline is November 18th.
What do you think of the initiatives that truck companies/drivers are taking these days to help causes/charities such as this one? List your comments below!