Magazine  >  Issue 41  >  Road to Freedom

Road to Freedom

The kindness of strangers: voluntary animal transport
By Laurie Jacobson

Animals are transported by car, train, plane, canoe, snowmobile, one at a time or in groups. And not just dogs are transported, but also cats, rabbits, birds, pigs and horses. There are breed-specific transports, creature-specific, size- and region-specific transports. Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, too: men, women, children—even other animals who help comfort the traveler. Two transporters from New Jersey met while transporting and fell in love. On their wedding day, they transported. Even elderly and sick animals are transported so they may spend their last days in loving arms. It’s a profoundly hopeful and empowering volunteer activity. Whether it’s from one end of Florida to the other, a multi-state transport or a cross-country run, the end result is always a better life for a previously unwanted animal.

The transports showcase the human-animal bond in action and the very best of what humanity has to offer. Bonnie Silva’s life has been changed by what she’s seen. “The work these people choose to do will never cease to touch me.”

On her website, Bonnie Silva offers more information, inspiring stories and links to websites for other organizations and transport groups. To see videos and pictures of transports log on to

If you can’t drive, there are still several ways you can be involved with a transport team:

  • Volunteer to keep an animal overnight or give it a foster home until it’s adopted.
  • Help with some temporary boarding costs.
  • Make contributions for transporters who are willing but cannot afford the gas.
  • Continue pressing for more progress in spay-neuter efforts.

A few more websites of interest:

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