The road home for foster and rescue pets isn’t always straight forward and that where animal lover Tanya Parker comes in.
Since November of last year, Parker has been driving to and from Texas to help transport animals from the Marshall Animal Shelter to various rescues across the country.
On Tuesday this week, she did it again, working with shelter employees and Friends of Marshall Animals (FOMA) volunteers to transport over 25 dogs. Both puppies and adults, were transported to Unleash, an animal rescue in Kansas, where they can be fostered and eventually adopted.
Shelly Godwin with the Animal Shelter said that the organization was contacted by Parker last year about potentially partnering up to help lessen the load of animals the shelter was dealing with.
Jana Hernandez with FOMA said that the organization has worked with Parker for about five years, and helped facilitate the relationship between the shelter and the rescue team.
“No one gets paid, this whole thing runs entirely on volunteers,” Parker said. “The only thing we get is money compensated for gas.”
Parker said that she has been working to rescue animals for over 40 years, but has been specifically doing transport work since 2016.
Shelter volunteers said that since they have partnered with Parker, over 200 animals have been rescued from the shelter, and all of them were able to get adopted.
In fact, a few of the puppies rescued by Parker that ended up in New York were recently featured on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. These puppies were taken in by North Shore Animal League America, another rescue that Parker works with that is actually the largest no kill shelter in the world.
“We work with a lot of no kill shelters, and they are the largest,” Parker said.
She explained that after they complete the transfer of the animals, they drive for about 10 hours with stops along the way to the shelter, where the animals are then bathed, fed and booked into the new rescue, then usually given over to their waiting foster families.
“We do photos and we put it all together on Facebook,” Parker said. “These dogs will be adopted within one to three hours of when we get there.”
She said that this project is one that is close to her heart, and that she wishes that more could be done to assist animals who are in need in the United States, to help them find loving forever homes.
“Only about 1 percent on pets are non-adoptable,” Parker said. “We can’t kill our way out of this, we can’t spay and neuter our way out of this, we can’t foster our way out of this and we can’t transport our way out of this, it has to be a combination of all four.”