Animal Humane Society welcomes first out-of-state transport since March

Fifty seven dogs from southern states recently journeyed to our Golden Valley shelter to find homes

Grey pit bull mix arrives at AHS via transport

Timber, a soft grey Pit Bull mix, traveled all the way from Little Rock, Arkansas and made fast friends with AHS staff.

In August, Animal Humane Society resumed its out-of-state transport program and welcomed 17 dogs from Little Rock, Arkansas and 40 from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to our Golden Valley shelter. Prior to their arrival, AHS had not received an out-of-state transport since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic required companion animal agencies across the country to confront the crisis and suspend programs and services that were deemed unessential.

Over the last several years, our out-of-state transport program has brought hundreds of animals in need of a second chance to our Minnesota shelters each month. That number came to a screeching halt this spring as AHS temporarily closed its doors to the public and suspended all transports from out-of-state.

AHS used that time to reassess our transport program and seized the opportunity to make improvements. “We’re using these first few transports to test out some new ideas,” says Aaron Guggemos, Director of Strategic Projects at AHS. “As we get better at identifying efficiencies, we’ll be able to help even more animals than we could pre-pandemic.”

Transport statistics

Intake numbers by transport, March-July:

  • 2019: 3,764 animals
  • 2020 (in-state only): 409 animals

Last year’s placement rate for transported animals: 97.1%

Through our transport program, AHS partners with local, in-state rescue agencies like Leech Lake Legacy, as well as out-of-state agencies located in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, and other southern states, providing medical care, behavioral treatments, and loving homes to more than 7,000 animals each year.

We’ve heard from many Twin Cities residents who’ve been hoping to adopt a dog, but haven't seen the typical number of available animals on our website over the last few months. As we welcome more animals to our shelter through our lifesaving transport program, more dogs will be available for adoption. Thank you for your patience as we safely resume our transport program.

Animal Humane Society’s transport vehicles travel 115,000 miles per year, covering a 2,300-mile stretch. Everything that goes into AHS transport — from the vehicles and fuel, to animals' medical and behavioral care — is made possible by the support of our animal loving community. Thank you for making second chances possible for animals in need, no matter where they’re from!

ASCPA Transport Truck at Animal Humane Society

Why transport?

While southern shelters face incredible overpopulation, here in Minnesota the capacity for companion-animal adoption exceeds the population of homeless and surrendered animals. We’ve reached this point by carefully investing in outreach, low-cost spay/neuter, and other programs designed to address animal overpopulation.

Safely transporting animals from other parts of the country to the Twin Cities saves the lives of healthy and adoptable animals in southern communities, and frees up resources so they, too, can invest in expanding spay/neuter programs and address other root causes of animal homelessness. It also ensures we can meet the demand for adoptable pets here in Minnesota while reducing reliance on commercial breeding operations.

Transporting animals from other shelters isn’t a transaction — it’s a commitment to partnership. We provide mentorship, medical supplies, and cover the cost of transport. We’re able to take in animals that would never be placed in the South — not because they’re broken or bad — but because we have the unique privilege of being able to help.

Every animal that comes to Animal Humane Society receives a comprehensive medical exam and thorough behavioral evaluation. All transport animals receive de-wormer and spay/neuter surgery if they’re not already sterilized.

Black and white puppy arrives at AHS from Arkansas

Jesse, a Terrier mix puppy, is ready for a big stretch and her second chance at AHS.

AHS Transport Pup getting a bath

Coco gets a bath before settling in for the night.

Interested in adopting?

While our adoption centers remain closed to the public, AHS is offering adoption by appointment. Learn more.

Review our adoption listing now

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