|Volunteers Joan Dunham & Cindy Neal|
helping secure pets for transport.
Photo courtesy of No Paws Left behind.
Some people spend their lives wondering when “someone” is going to do something to help the homeless pets of Kern County. Then there are people like Teresa Walker, who established No Paws Left Behind Rescue and Transport, a nonprofit organization that pulls pets out of local shelters and transports them to northern California to waiting rescues.
Asked why she has chosen this action to help save pets, Walker said, “I volunteered at the SPCA and worked with two local rescues working to save Kern County shelter dogs. I wasn’t happy with the number of animals I was able to foster, spay/neuter, provide medical care and find loving homes for . The need is so great, and I felt I was not making a difference. I decided transporting Kern animals to established rescues would allow me to save a larger number of them.”
Every rescue transport is coordinated between the shelters holding the pets, the rescues accepting the pets and the people with No Paws who are doing the driving. Before each transport, the van used by No Paws has to be cleaned and sanitized, as well as all of the kennels used to hold the animals during the drive. This in itself is an all day process. On transport day, the entire trip from Kern County to the Bay Area and back, typically with several stops along the way, takes approximately 15 hours.
|Pets awaiting transport to|
Northern California rescues.
Photo courtesy of No Paws Left Behind.
When asked about the hardest aspect of coordinating the rescue transports, Walker answered, “Making sure everyone is where they need to be, when they need to be there, so things run smoothly.”
All of the work No Paws does to secure new homes for shelter pets is done at no charge to the shelters or rescue groups. The organization relies on donations to their 501(c)3 organization to cover the cost of gas, which typically runs $190 for each round trip.
Interested in lending No Paws Left Behind Rescue and Transport a hand? Head to their website and make a donation towards their next journey. For the cost of a cup of coffee, you can get homeless pets one gallon of gas closer to a forever home.
*Originally written for the Bakersfield Voice