Animal groups often transport stray cats and dogs to other states in hopes of finding homes for orphaned animals. It is an alternative to euthanasia, but it doesn’t decrease the ever-growing pet population.
Recently, Winona Animal Control Officer Arlin Pearson participated in two separate dog transports – one on Aug. 8 and one on July 30 with Northbound Rescue in Clinton. The goal was to send dogs being held at the Winona Animal Shelter to the New England area where they can find forever homes.
Pearson said there are currently eight dogs that are being vetted for transports and more are being added every day.
“Some are held back so they can be treated longer,” he said. “Some of the rescue groups are very specific about the kind of care that is provided.”
Pearson said Northbound Rescue helps with the cost of tests to ensure the dogs are in great health before the transport takes place. He said it’s virtually no cost to the city.
“The city did have to pay for a couple of tests for heartworms, but Northbound Rescue is reimbursing the city for those tests. They make it possible to do the rescue. The city could not afford to vet all of these dogs by ourselves,” Pearson said.
According to its website, Northbound Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting under-served shelters in rural, Southern states. The website goes on to state, “With many shelters in the South battling overpopulation, low local adoption rates and climbing medical bills, Northbound Rescue forms a partnership with these shelters with issues to assist them with medical care, fundraising and rescue efforts in the Northeast.”
Pearson said Northbound Rescue has been helpful with dogs, once held in shelters finding them new homes.
“They help to make sure the dogs are vaccinated, treated for heart worms, spayed and neutered, tested for parasites and cared for before they are transported to their new homes,” he said.
Pearson said he’s worked with the organization before to send animals to new homes in other areas in the county.
“I am so very grateful for all their caring help and attention to our dogs’ needs. We have already transported several dogs from Winona to safe, healthy homes in other states.”
Shelby Knowlton, co-owner of Northbound Rescue said, while working with underserved shelters in Southern states, she’s seen the need for rescues and transports to other areas.
“Working with others who love animals as much as I do towards a common goal is a major component of what keeps me coming back to rescue every day,” Knowlton said. Working with the city of Winona has been an extreme pleasure and very rewarding. Arlin Pearson works around the clock to save as many animals as possible. Arlin is the glue thay holds Winona's rescue mission together by ensuring dogs get vetted, photos, bios, paperwork, foster efforts and assisting with getting the dogs onto transport and onto their forever homes.”
Knowlton continued, “We hope to continue to work with the city of Winona in order to give more animals a second chance, and to reduce euthanasia rates as much as possible,” she said.