IF A JOURNEY of a thousand miles begins with a single step, for 50+ small dogs from Oakland Animal Services, a road trip of over 650 miles will begin tonight (April 23rd) with many helping hands as a dedicated team of OAS volunteers and staff pack the pooches up for an overnight odyssey to new homes in Boise, Idaho!
Why the doggy drive? California shelters, including Oakland Animal Services, have been overwhelmed with surrendered small dogs whose owners initially adopted, bought or bred them, thanks in large part to the recent popular frenzy for the critters caused by celebs like Paris Hilton and her ‘purse pup’, and movies like Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Owners tire of the dogs, or realize they require more care than expected, and turn the dogs in to the shelter – where policy is to accept all animals from Oakland.
OAS receives 14-15 dogs a day and 5-6 of these are small dogs!
Shelter director Megan Webb, working with Animal Care Coordinator Martha Cline and staff, has worked tirelessly to find cooperating shelters across the nation who can re-home these little lovers in areas of the country where the small dogs are more in demand. Since January, the shelter has cooperated with like organizations in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado (an airlift covered by NBC’s Nightline News) to place over 130 dogs.
Tonight’s lucky canines are headed to the Humane Society of Boise, Idaho – and are being driven on their 13-hour trek by OAS volunteer hubby & wife team Enjel and Jeff. Beginning at 10 PM, the pups will be watered, pottied, labeled and crated … and are expected to arrive at their destination on Saturday afternoon.
Update 4/24/10: We did it! We got all 50 dogs into crates and packed them up into the van! Thank you to Martha and all of the volunteers who worked so hard to make it happen, volunteers Enjel and Jeff for driving them to Idaho, and to Friends of Oakland Animal Services for covering the cost of the trip. If you’re interesting in donating to future trips, visit Friends of Oakland Animal Services.