Bruce, a 9-month-old shepherd mix, is the 1,000th dog sent as part of the program which began when three dogs were put on a truck bound for Dewitt, N.Y.
Known as Love on Wheels, the program takes dogs facing euthanasia from shelters in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and sends them to rescue groups elsewhere. In some areas, such as the northeast, education about spaying and neutering animals as resulted in waiting lists of adopters seeking rescued dogs.
“It’s been quite a journey,” said Stacy Smith, vice president of animal advocacy for the Humane Society of Flower Mound, in a news release. “When we started out, we were hoping to save perhaps a few hundred dogs. To see the number 1,000 get on that truck, knowing what his fate would have been here in Texas … well, it’s an emotional day for us all.”
Foster homes are needed for rescue dogs to stay for two to four weeks prior to being sent through the Love on Wheels program to make sure each animal is healthy and ready for adoption.
“Our foster homes are what sets Love on Wheels apart from other programs,” Smith said in the news release. “Foster homes allow us to ensure the dogs are healthy and ready to make the trip, but more importantly, they provide important information to the receiving organization about the dogs’ personalities, which lets them start looking for adopters before the dogs even arrive.”
In addition, donations are needed to cover the costs of sending the animals. The average cost is $150 per dog, according to the news release.
“Without donors, these dogs simply would not be saved, period,” Smith said in the news release.