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The Rescue Railroad helps animals find permanent homes

All the dogs get 10-15 minute breaks between each leg of the trip.
All the dogs get 10-15 minute breaks between each leg of the trip.

Frostee is one of many dogs saved by the rescue railroad.


Rescue railroad transport groups

On any given Saturday morning people all across the county are getting up, grabbing a cup of coffee and hitting the road. But they’re not going to work or the latest amusement park. They’re all part of the rescue railroad; working to move dogs, puppies, and cats from one part of the country to another to save lives.

Some people may be familiar with the rescue efforts of large groups like Best Friends and North Shore Animal League, but every weekend, all around the country, people are taking part in this great program to take dogs from small, rural, kill shelters and move them to areas where they are more likely to find permanent homes.

The folks involved in the rescue railroad are truckers, lawyers, doctors, factory workers and others. They just love dogs and are willing to donate some time and gas to saving dogs and other pets.

All of the dogs have been seen by a vet before they travel and come with papers which have to be passed along with the dogs. Some are scared, some are confused, but all of them are headed to a safe, loving home eventually.

I took part in a rescue railroad transport a month ago, moving several dogs from a shelter in Kentucky and rural Ohio to rescues and adoptive homes in Michigan and Ontario, CA. I picked up my three dogs in Maumee, Ohio and drove them to Lincoln Park, MI for the next leg of their trip. One of the dogs was headed to his forever home and the others were going to rescues up north for adoption.

A few weeks ago, I transported Lolly, a Rat Terrier/Beagle mix who was headed to her new home. Along with Lolly, I had Scrappy, a beautiful but skinny red Cocker Spaniel and Vinnie, a Rat Terrier both headed to a rescue in Canada to find their forever home. They were a little nervous but great little travelers. On Memorial Weekend, I transported Trooper, a very shy black Lab mix, Frostee, a cute white fluffy mix and Destiny, a gorgeous Border Collie mix. These three were also great travelers.

My reason for doing this is that I know I can’t save them all myself, but this is my way of helping as many as I can. That’s also why I foster dogs, even though I fall in love with every one I foster.

If you are interested in exploring the rescue railroad and donating your time and energy to this great cause, there are several Yahoo! groups for transport in the metro Detroit area. Check out the websites above.


  • Annette Palmer - Cincinnati Holidays Examiner 4 years ago

    Great article! Thanks for sharing it. I never knew about Rescue Railroad.

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