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Department Dish: Transfer Department

Transfer volunteers with dog

by Jenny Trawick

While the Dumb Friends League first addresses the needs of homeless pets in Colorado, it has been able to assist more and more in helping homeless pets from other states. Here’s a stunning case in point: on September 13, 2007, the Transfer department welcomed Jim, the 2,000th dog from the PAAS Vinita shelter in Oklahoma (see photo above).

The department is staffed by Transfer Manager EC Michaels and Transfer Coordinators Becky Healy and Larz Yerian, assisted by a team of dedicated volunteers. The team works locally with municipal shelters, throughout the state with many different placement partners, and out of state to help relieve other shelters.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a Transfer volunteer? Pat Bird works as a Transfer Specialist every Tuesday. She explained the process of receiving a transfer at the Quebec Street Shelter. When the van arrives, volunteers and staff are set up in stations. “The trip may have been stressful for the animals; some may not even have been in a car before,” said Pat. “We try to process each animal quickly and efficiently, so it can be moved into a kennel to relax as soon as possible.” Watching this process makes it clear that it is a well-oiled machine.

One by one, dogs are taken from the kennels in the van into the garage by a volunteer or staff handler and moved through various stations. First, they are weighed, checked for a microchip, and given a collar. Next, they move on to receive vaccinations, if they are needed. Then they are evaluated by Pet Admissions staff. Last, they are moved into a kennel to relax after their journey. From there, some may need medical treatment, some may go into foster or behavior programs, and some may be put up for adoption.

Pat works with the transfers on Tuesdays and at the dog adoptions desk on Thursdays. She says, “I love getting to see the dogs coming in through transfer and then again when they’re ready to be adopted.” She often sees a major transformation from a scared pup coming off the truck to a freshly groomed, happy dog ready to go to its forever home. Our transfer team does amazing work!

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