22 October 2011

Operation Roger - pet rescue truckers

Operation Roger is an amazing organization. This not-for-profit celebrated their 4th anniversary in September of 2009, and is made up of regional and long-haul truck drivers that volunteer their time and love of animals to try and save pet’s lives. These drivers also help pet owners by providing pet transportation in special circumstances, such as family illness or loss of a loved one.

How It Works
When Operation Roger receives a transport request for a dog, cat, or small companion animal, they attempt to match the pet needing a ride with a trucker heading in the same direction. However, because of the truckers’ commitments, Operation Roger cannot give a specific time that a pet will be picked up or delivered, or even if they can get to it all … but they will try.

Truckers cannot provide door-to-door pickup and delivery. Instead, arrangements are made with the driver to meet the person sending the pet at a nearby truck-stop or travel plaza. The pet’s paperwork is checked, approved, and the pet is on its way! At the destination, the person waiting for the pet meets the truck at a predetermined location where the pet is handed off so it can start its new life.

There are times when a driver can pick up a pet, but they’re not heading close enough to the destination. The driver may keep the pet on board and work their way to the pet’s new home, or Operation Roger may tag-team with a second driver. These logistics usually require a “layover home” which temporarily fosters the pet for anywhere from a few hours up to a couple of weeks.

Operation Roger can also sometimes help to get small amounts of pet food and pet-related items from one location to another, usually a supplier to a shelter or from one rescue to another. This service depends upon the space available in a driver’s truck cab.

Time & CostsA non-refundable minimum donation of only $24.00 is required to list a pet on Operation Roger’s “Pet Board.” This tax-deductible donation helps Operation Roger defray its operating expenses. Compared to the alternatives of pet transport services or airlines, Operation Roger offers an affordable option to cash-strapped shelters and rescues.

It may take a minimum of 3-7 days for a volunteer to review, approve, and get the application entered on the Pet Board. Then, it may take an equal amount of time to get the information out to the driver network. Because of the time constraints, Operation Roger is usually unable to handle emergency requests.

How Can You Help?
There are several ways you can help. Do you know of a truck driver who loves pets? Are you an RVer willing to take on a furry friend with you as you travel across the country? Are you available to be a layover home? Third, make a donation.

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