In a recent survey of As Good as Gold members, volunteers, supporters and donors, the respondents indicated they want to learn more about several program areas including Education, Transportation, Home Visits and Fostering. Each month the AGaG newsletter will provide an overview of one of these areas, continuing today with the Transport program area.
Transport Coordinator Marlene Pedone summarizes the work of the Transport program area as follows: As Good as Gold transporters log hundreds of miles each year rescuing goldens from shelters, picking dogs up from relinquishing owners, meeting cross country or in-state organized transports, welcoming weary flyers, making deliveries to foster homes and assisting with vet appointments.
The process of setting up transportation can start right after the Intake Coordinator receives a call from a shelter notifying us of a dog in need of rescue. An intake report is created, at which time Marlene will call the shelter and arrange a pick-up time. She calls one of our partner veterinary clinics to arrange for boarding, a vet appointment and a bath. Transporters are identified based on proximity to the shelter or vet, and then calls are made to see who may be available. Once a transporter agrees to pick up the dog, Marlene calls the shelter to confirm the time and the driver. She creates a transport report that is emailed to the transport team and the drivers.
Once the dog is vetted and assessed, the Foster Coordinator has assigned a foster home, Marlene is notified to arrange transport. She contacts the foster home to find out the time and day the dog can arrive at their home, and she calls to find a transporter that is available at that time. The vet is then notified of the time the dog will need to be discharged, and a transport report is created and distributed to the intake team, transporters, and foster home and foster assistants.
When the dog is relinquished by an owner, instead of being notified of the need for transport from the Intake Coordinator, Marlene will wait until the dog has been assessed and the foster coordinator assigns the foster home. Then a similar process takes place where she contacts both the foster home and the relinquishing owner to coordinate a mutually convenient day to pick up the dog, schedule a vet appointment and deliver the dog to the foster home. Once a date works for all of the parties involved Marlene calls transporters to see who will be available and willing to assist at that time.
There are times when more than one transporter is needed due to the distance of the transport. Marlene will then contact multiple people along the transport route, identify meeting places and times and facilitate the coordination of transfer of the dog from one person to another so the dog safely arrives at his destination at a predetermined time.
Once the transport is complete the transporters will send the relinquishment forms and any medical forms to the As Good as Gold post office box. They also let her know when that transport is complete and will report on the condition and behavior of the dog. Marlene provides this feedback to the Intake Coordinator, Foster Coordinators and Adoption Coordinator so they have some early information about the dog.
Marlene also orders and maintains a supply of leashes and harnesses and ID tags. She distributes them to the transporters or foster homes as needed.
As a Transport Coordinator no two days are the same; each new dog has a different story or situation. Transporters see and hear it all; they console distraught owners who need to relinquish a dog for financial and other reasons. The dedication of our many transport volunteers has a positive effect on the lives of so many goldens.