BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Twenty dogs and puppies formerly in the care of the Washington County SPCA are on their way to Colorado where they will likely find new homes, thanks to a PetSmart Charities pet rescue program.
Shelter volunteers and employees early Thursday morning helped load the animals onto the PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin' for the 10-hour climate-controlled ride to the Humane Society shelter in Boulder, Colo.
Once there, the dogs and puppies will get 12 to 24 hours to rest before being given a medical checkup, followed by a spay/neuter surgery and then placed on the adoption floor.
According to PetSmart Charities, once on the adoption floor, the dogs are usually adopted within a few days of their arrival due to a high demand in Colorado for these dogs.
WCSPCA Board President Dawnette Brady told 2NEWS the number transported Thursday makes for 218 animals rescued by the Rescue Waggin' program this year and around 1,450 since the transports began in September 2009.
Brady said the program helps especially this time of year when adoptions are down.
"This is the worst time of year for adoptions," she said, adding that adoptions tend to pick up again once school begins.
Before the morning's transport, the SPCA was in care of 191 dogs and puppies — many of them in foster homes.
"That is what has allowed us to home all the animals," she said. "It's because of the PetSmart store in Tulsa and the Rescue Waggin'."
Currently, the shelter is seeking homes for 286 cats and kittens now in its care. Brady said the kitten rush hit six weeks late and is lasting longer than normal.
"We had a guy call us with 18 kittens," she said.
Washington County SPCA is part of the Great Plains Rescue Waggin' Program and one of only 60 animal shelters across the nation participating in this national transport program.
For more information about the Rescue Waggin' program and other PetSmart Charities programs, click here or call 1-800-423-PETS.