A day in the life of local transport

June 06, 2022

Animal Humane Society has four locations in the Twin Cities metro area including Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, Woodbury, and St. Paul. In addition to transporting animals, supplies, and intersite mail between the four sites, we also make special deliveries to community partners and run weekly errands  and it's our local transport team that makes this all happen.

Local transport runs Monday – Friday and always starts in Golden Valley in the morning and wraps up early to mid-afternoon (depending on how much needs transporting).

Normally, we drive a loop from Golden Valley to Coon Rapids, Woodbury, St. Paul, and then back to Golden Valley. However, it depends on what animals need to be transported and to where and if we have to deliver anything to community partners along the way. The goal is to try to minimize the amount of time animals are in their kennels and in the van, and sometimes there are such large loads of animals or supplies that we need to make multiple trips.

Follow along on a recent route to learn more about AHS local transport!

AHS local transport driver loading pet food into a transport vehicle
Local transport driver walking a dog before it's loaded onto the vehicle for transport

8 AM: We arrived at our Golden Valley shelter location and checked what needed transport that day.

On this day, our load is light, including transporting one dog from Golden Valley to Woodbury for adoption, delivering some pet food and litter to the other sites, and dropping off a pet food donation with one of our community partners.

8:15 AM: We started loading up the van for the day with the pet food and litter that we needed to distribute to the other sites and to our community partner.

Then, we went to find the dog we needed to transport. We took her outside to go to the bathroom and gave her some love before loading her in her kennel.

We hit the road around 8:30 AM. Because we had a dog to drop off first, we did a loop from Golden Valley > Woodbury > Coon Rapids > University Avenue > pet food donation drop-off > Golden Valley. Before we left, we called and emailed our Woodbury shelter to let them know we were on our way so they could be prepared for the dog’s arrival.

Local transport driver and AHS staff unloading kennels
AHS staff unloading bags of cat litter from the transport vehicle

9:10 AM: We arrived at our Woodbury site. Animal technicians helped unload the dog and a few bags of the pet food and litter. We also loaded up as many empty kennels from Woodbury as we could to bring back to storage at Golden Valley. Once the van was full, we hit the road to Coon Rapids around 9:25 AM.

Since this van is only used locally, the cab isn’t separated from the back by a bulkhead, which means it can sometimes get noisy (and occasionally smelly), depending on the animals. A web-mesh barrier was recently installed behind the seats to improve driver safety and keep cargo from moving forward in the event of a sudden stop or a crash.

10:05 AM: We arrived at our Coon Rapids shelter. We unloaded more bags of litter from the van and were back on the road by 10:15 AM (and made a pit stop to fill up on gas).

Visiting with a young, white office dog

One of the fun things local transport does about once a week (usually Thursday or Friday) is to go grocery shopping for greens and other vegetables for the critters in our care.

11 AM: We arrived at our University Avenue site in St. Paul. All we needed to do here was pick up intersite mail, but we swung through the office area to say a quick hello to the puppy of one of our staff members. Then we were off to transfer some pet food to one of our community partners.

Feeding Frogtown volunteers smile with bags of donated pet food

11:15 AM: We arrived at the parking lot where we met volunteers from Feeding Frogtown to transfer the donated bags of pet food. Each month, we donate approximately 3,800 pounds of pet food to our community partners.

11:45 AM: We arrived back at our Golden Valley location. To finish out the day, we unloaded the kennels that we picked up from Woodbury and then swept out the back of the van. If the van is exceptionally dirty, we’ll wash the floor, but this day it’s relatively clean.

12 PM: Done for the day. Fun fact: Last year, we drove 17,000 miles on local transport trips like these!

Beyond local transport

In addition to local transport, AHS also works with organizations across the country to transport animals to our shelters for adoption as part of our out-of-state animal transport program. Learn more about how animals are selected for transport, and follow along as our transport team travels to Oklahoma to pick up some very precious cargo.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline