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Transports are an essential part of our lifesaving work. As a transporter, you may be picking up a dog (or several) from the shelter and bringing it to a veterinarian, or moving a dog from a kennel to a foster home, or helping a foster dog get to a much-needed vet visit. While many transports are less than an hour, some of the transport distances may be up to six hours. These longer transports are broken into segments, with each transporter filling one or more of the sections.

As a friendly reminder, while some dogs will be happy and social, others may be highly stressed or fearful, so please use great caution while the dogs are in your care.

Transport Guidelines and FAQs

What equipment do I need for transporting?

  • A crate or crates are ideal, and you can often find crates at little to no cost by asking your neighbors on Nextdoor or Facebook. If you don’t have a crate or you are transporting multiple dogs, you can tether one dog using a well-fitting harness, but never by the collar.

  • Use seat protectors, towels, and blankets to protect your vehicle. After each transport, please clean the crate(s) with disinfectant and launder any blankets and towels.

  • Bring towels, cleaning spray, newspaper, paper towels, and plastic bags

  • Bring a collar and leash with you for each dog, as some (especially those at a shelter) may not have these items.

    • If you have them, Martingale-style collars, harnesses, and slip leads are also very useful.

    • You may pick up leashes, collars, and ID tags at Lab Rescue adoption events and some other events.

Please be aware that the dogs may be stressed, and in rare instances, may chew or have bathroom accidents. Lab Rescue is unable to reimburse for damages, so please use care in protecting your vehicle.


Safety Guidelines

  • Ensure that the dog's collar, harness, or slip lead is fastened snugly (only one finger should fit underneath). Ensure that you have both hands firmly on the dog and leash before opening the car or facility door. If the dog doesn't already have one, please put an ID tag on the dog's collar with your information and/or Lab Rescue's. 

  • For fearful or timid dogs, use two forms of restraint, either a buckle collar, a harness, Martingale-style collar, and/or slip lead. Attach a different leash to each collar to provide back up if one were to fail.

  • Do not allow dogs who are not bonded/life partners to interact. If you have more than one dog to transport, one must be in a crate.

  • Keep your windows closed, and window and door locks engaged.



Transfers on Longer Distance Transports

  • Do not stop for any reason when on a transport, unless it is a scheduled transfer to another driver or a dire emergency.

  • When planning a transfer, try to choose a spot that is not used by other transporters to reduce the exposure to communicable diseases. Clarify in advance if the driver of the next leg will need to provide a leash and collar, or whether the leash and collar will remain on the dog.

  • If you will be swapping leashes and collars/harnesses, please do so inside a closed vehicle and add the new equipment before removing the prior. When possible, it may be easier and less risky to let your equipment go and trade equipment with the driver of the next leg.




When you pick up a dog, ensure that you receive all of the dog's veterinary paperwork and medications. When you drop off a dog, please pass along the paperwork and medications to the next transporter, foster home, or kennel. If you are transporting more than one dog, be absolutely certain to match the paperwork to the correct dog.



Sharing Info About your Transported Dog

If you have a chance, please take some pictures of the dog and send them to the Transport Coordinator with information about your experience with the dog. Your feedback will help us know more about the dog and speed up the adoption process.


You can also share pictures of your transport in the Lab Rescue Facebook group. If you do, please note if the dog is not yet available for adoption. In some instances, the dogs will need veterinary care before being listed for adoption.



What if a transporter wants to adopt a dog?

If you or someone else on the transport want to adopt, please encourage that person to submit an adoption application as soon as possible.

Are there any special guidelines for puppies?

Yes! When transporting puppies four months or younger, do not allow the puppies' paws to touch the ground, as young puppies are susceptible to infectious disease. Instead, please use newspaper for bathroom needs.

What if I have further questions?

Please reach out to your Transport Coordinator for any additional questions or concerns.

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