Dakin Humane Society: When Dixies become Yankees

Jul 31 2018
Published by under Local News Feeds

There’s nothing quite like the happy welcome that takes place when a transport of Dixie Dogs pulls up at Dakin Humane Society.

There’s nothing quite like the happy welcome that takes place when a transport of Dixie Dogs pulls up at Dakin Humane Society.

A ramp, built into the side of the large, temperature-controlled truck, is lowered to the ground as Dakin animal handlers stand by, ready to help the new arrivals disembark.  With precision, they walk the dogs down the ramp, one at a time, to a patch of grass so they can relieve themselves before being led into our building and into their designated enclosures.

These dogs will spend their first 48 hours quarantined in our Dixie Ward, being walked and cared for by our team of specially-qualified staff and volunteers. On the third day, they are examined by a veterinarian and hopefully cleared for the adoption floor. If a dog shows signs of illness, he remains in our care until medically cleared for adoption.

It’s exciting to see these adorable faces join our lineup of adoptable animals.  They come to us from places in Texas, Virginia and South Carolina, thanks to our partnerships with shelters and rescue organizations in those states.  Why subject these pets to a long road trip to a new Yankee lifestyle?  Because we want to help them as well as the shelters they’re leaving behind.

Pet overpopulation in the southern states is a reality. The northeast has curbed overpopulation through spay and neuter practices, but in other parts of the country it remains an issue.  In some cases it may be a financial hardship for pet owners, in other cases the nearest medical facility that could provide the surgery is hours away.  Many litters are unwanted, puppies and kittens become homeless and end up in shelters that are already overcrowded.  The sad truth is that sometimes euthanasia is used in response to this problem.

The ongoing issue of pet overpopulation outside New England has led us to work with groups like Operation Pets Alive (OPA), one of our primary partners in pet transports.  This Texas-based organization has been the liaison between us and overcrowded shelters in the Lone Star state for several years now.  They seek at-risk dogs in shelters who fit our criteria (healthy and friendly), reach out to us to check if we have the space for them, arrange for the transport, then provide us with an itinerary and updates about the journey north.  Most of the transport arrivals are adult dogs, but puppies occasionally start their adventures with a trip to Dakin.

Then there were the pets we brought up from another partner, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey.  Their transports to us are typically felines (157 cats/kittens in the past two years), but they have also sent more than 100 dogs from southern shelters who are transitioning through St. Hubert’s on their way north.  This partnership works both ways; if we’re inundated with small animals, they’ll take them from us if they have the space.

Out-of-state animals made up about 10% of the intakes at Dakin last year, and Dixie Dogs are just a fraction of that percentage.  We also accepted shelter animals from hurricane-ravaged areas of Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico last year.  Overall, the number of dogs only slightly exceeded the number of cats we received via transports.

These partnerships have allowed countless animals to find bright and happy futures.  Your support of Dakin Humane Society allows us to keep building bridges for animals who may need to travel a long distance to find their way home.

Lee Chambers is marketing and communications manager of the Dakin Humane Society. Dakin delivers effective, innovative services to animals in need and the people who care about them.



Jun 2024