The Rescue Railroad is a mode of free, volunteer-based transportation designed to rescue animals from high kill shelters, and transport them to Help Save Pets (HSP) where they can receive medical care and find forever homes. This system is successful, thanks to a large network of people who volunteer their time, gas money, and hearts, in order to see the animals reach us where they’ll have a second chance at a good life.
The Rescue Railroad is not an organization, but rather an ongoing effort of individuals who travel “legs” transporting animals from Kentucky, southern Indiana, southern Illinois and Tennessee to Plainfield. Each transport is important, because all of us have one goal in mind, and that is to see these wonderful animals reach a safe destination and find new homes!
How It All Works:
- In the areas that we rescue from, such as southern Illinois, southern Indiana, Kentucky etc., we have contacts that are in constant touch with either a shelter or multiple shelters in several counties. The contacts visit these shelters regularly to evaluate animals that are due to be put down or animals with special needs, such as pregnant, medical help needed, etc.
- Once a group of animals for rescue has been determined, the contact puts out the word that a transport is needed to move the animals from wherever they are to HSP. The internet is used to allow people to sign up to do a “leg” of the transport from one point to another, meet the next driver who will then take the animals from that point to the next. Eventually the animals make it to us.
- Once the animals arrive at HSP, volunteers help unload them from the cars and trucks they’ve travelled in, perform a check in to record the vital information on the animal, identify them, settle them into their cage/run with food, water and blankets, and start a medical record.
- After the volunteers have completed the check in, doctors take over to provide a medical exam, determine which vaccinations and tests are required to meet our standards, prescribe medications or treatment for any illness and schedule/perform spay or neuter surgery. After surgery the animal is available to be adopted. This animal, who was once facing death now has a chance for a new and happy life.
So, on behalf of all the animals that have made their way to HSP, we would like to thank the dedicated members of the Rescue Railroad, for their devotion to homeless animals and for giving their time, energy and money, (we all know how expensive gas is these days), to all of the hundreds of animals that now have a place to call home, thanks to them!