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Mostly I have just moaned and groaned about the inconveniences and challenges that COVID-19 has created, but for the shelter, there was a silver lining in that adoptions were up and the number of animals that we were able to send to our adoption partners increased. Other shelters and rescues experienced the same demand for adoptable animals, so they were anxious to take in any of our adoptable overflow.

The other advantage during the shutdown was that many people weren’t working and we were able to find volunteers to transport those animals to our partners. Along with pet transports, we occasionally need volunteers to take immature or injured wildlife to rehabilitation centers in Medford Lakes or a relay point down near the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

We consider ourselves very lucky to have adoption partners all over the tri-state area, when they have the space they sometimes take 30 to 40 pets. The key is having someone to drive them there. There are local runs to Voorhees or Philadelphia, and others to more northern destinations like Jersey City, Oakland, Madison and even the occasional run to New York. There are some transports that may be just a few cages, but we have also had a few volunteers with SUVs and great packing skills take more than one dozen carriers of pets to their new adoption centers!

As far as the wildlife is concerned, we are often called upon to act as a triage station for all sorts of interesting animals. Along with the usual influx of infant bunnies and squirrels, we receive fawns, hawks, turtles, groundhogs along with many other critters indigenous to South Jersey. They are brought to the shelter for a brief assessment and then shipped off to the appropriate center for veterinary care and rehabilitation. They often need a ride to those lifesaving services and sometimes, when we’re very lucky, they need a ride home to their original location to be released back to the wild. I’ve been lucky enough to release several creatures, including a huge and majestic Great Horned Owl and I can tell you that it was quite a thrill!

We also need drivers that can take pets to offsite veterinary appointments, sometimes just dropping them off, other times bringing them back to the shelter after being seen. Along with visiting local vets, we were also chosen to participate in a veterinary program at the University of Pennsylvania, which provides spay surgeries for adoptable pets. The pets going to the university get dropped off on Tuesday morning and don’t have to be picked up until Thursday; it’s an easy run for the drivers and a huge help for the shelter.

We are desperate to add drivers to the ranks. It’s a pretty sweet gig if you’re into helping save lives and happen to have a little spare time. Some of the runs can be scheduled ahead and others come up on an emergent basis.

If you’re interested, visit, click on the volunteer tab at the top right and choose the “transport volunteer program” to learn more.

Source: South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter needs volunteers to help transport animals

Posted in 2020, SJRAS Articles