Episode 2 – Jessica Mueller

In this episode we continue our chat with Jessica Mueller who is a seasoned animal rescue relay transport coordinator.  Jessica discusses how simple it is to get started in rescue relay transport and what you need to know to get going.  She shares her experiences and tips and tricks to get you going quickly.  You can learn more about RACE4RAN on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RACE4Ran/

Welcome to the professionals in animal rescue podcast where our goal is to introduce you to amazing people helping animals and share how you can get involved with animal rescue.  This podcast is proudly sponsored by Doobert.com. Doobert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters, and the only site that automates rescue relay transport.  Now, on with our show! Today we’re talking to Jessica Miller, who’s an animal transport coordinator who founded positively famous Hi, Jessica. Welcome to the program. Hi. Thanks. So for somebody that’s never been involved as a volunteer in transport, I mean, where where do you tell him to start? How do you get them prepared for what they’re going to go through? Where I would start would be to go on Facebook and search for, you know, volunteer transport routes. There are tons of them out there like our face, but race for Ran our A C for rn. Um, other rescue groups are transport groups, kindred hearts, uh, liberty ride, paying across things down there. Ton of groups in Google or Facebook, Whatever. Um, they’re also Facebook has a state loaned here hurt for each state in the United States, which is where we get a lot of our volunteers. So anyone who wants to start volunteering, that is probably where I would start being Google or Facebook and we’ll rescue, transport or go to Joubert and sign at least that a lot of volunteers from Joubert we get a ton of awesome volunteers from the Facebook, the state volunteer groups. You know, some of them don’t have very many participants. And then there’s some that fill up really quick. That is definitely how I would probably tell someone to start. Yeah, that’s great advice. So what? What do they need to know in order to be a volunteer? What do they need to get? Do they need to prepare before the transport? Kind of. What are the tips for somebody that’s new to this on our run sheets? I always put in, like some kind of information about the animal. You know what size of your young wins if you have, You know, the inability to hold on thio £100 dog. That could be a problem. You’ll have to have. You know, you’re you’re, ah transport kit. Like I have in my transport. Better keep latex claws and heat towels. Keep baby wipes. And he, uh, extra callers, like different sized colors. Different size harnesses. Ah, lot of flip leads a lot of leashes. Uh, tethers is tendering in the vehicle or creating in the vehicle is required. Should be required. Um, you know, Wanna open your door and have that rescue animal jump out and be lost on the transport? I wouldn’t want to be the driver making that phone call to me. And so Hee, tell them about you know, this isn’t good. Meeting spots are places where there’s it is easy on and off the interstate of the highway wherever you’re traveling, um, a nice area than the dog to be able to walk around and potty. And a place that’s not too busy and allowed to speak any animals, but has a safety concern. You know, when I looked me in some dark parking lot of a stranger, possibly stranger, you never met someone gonna transform before. So if I’m a new volunteer in and I sign up for one of your runs what should I expect? If I tell you I’m available? Does that mean I just show up that day? Walk me through the process a little bit us to how I go from the day I signed up into the day I actually show up way. Get a volunteer. We have allowed our volunteer application, which consists of all their contact information, address email, the largest city that they’re close to, just for purposes of going back and doing, you know, run. And a later time we can go and look and say, Well, this person was close to Houston, so we’ll see if they help. And then, um, vehicle information We do ask your vehicle insurance information and your driver’s license number just for China purposes, you know, emergency contact if something would happen. What, you’re comfortable transporting your only comfortable doing one dog at a time. Put that on her. So then we would go and you do wave a subscription thio a background check application so we’ll go in and we do do background checks on our drivers are overnight hosts anyone who volunteers and then from there, usually two or three days before the transport starts, I put the final over and she together, and I will put everyone in a Facebook message or, if you know, the person’s not on Facebook. I was also email. There were in sheet everybody, and I don’t have everybody’s contact information. And then we asked you to get in touch with the person before you and the person after you, so that you can set up your meeting spots. We do that because you guys know the areas we don’t. I mean, I’m happy to go and look for the gas station close to this town, but you guys typically know a little bit more the situation or area where, ah, good transfer could take place. So we ask you to do that when all that’s done, I’ll send out the final run sheep, and we keep the PM opening on Facebook. Um, and keep everybody updated on times. You know, we asked you to check in when you’re leaving a leg, leaving for your leg when you get there, and then we need the next person takes off for there like, so that we know if the runs running on time, the roads running early of it’s late so that everybody you know in the future knows okay and was running 25 minutes late. I don’t have to rush or if there are any concerns with the, you know we’ve had. Gosh, it was last year. We had an animal that was getting a little feisty and turns out, you know, he just needed a little more walking time around switching from person to person vehicle. The vehicle can be used dress full mean. We tell you very important to realize that this couldn’t be very stressful on animal. They’re not used to doing this. We make sure to get as much information as possible on this animal to give to our volunteers. I don’t want to blindside anybody. You know, we really, really, really, really encouraged the rescues or those shelters to make sure to give us accurate information as much information as possible. If it’s an aggressive job, it stays on great possible basket muzzle. And I mean, all of those things are things that are volunteers mean to know. Help us make a smoother transport for them, Anthony, and we’ll put all of that information on the road sheet. They’ll take their time or their uh, meeting locations were sent out. The final run sheet and then throughout the entire transport were in constant communication on where everybody is with the dog keeping times and status of the Yano. Yes, it’s kind of like you’re the concierge of the transport. Yeah, usually leave it. We’ll leave it open. The doctors will share after pictures, which a lot of us like to see. So we like Thio. Keep the follow up open as well. So you know, like that creation is everything. So what were some of the things that can or have happened to you on transports in the past? There was a long time. No, they don’t always run on time. We have had one specific one. I remember that A driver I’m not really sure how, but she didn’t show up because she thought that it was for the next day. So the driver of the current leg that had a dog realized this person isn’t showing up. So she talked us. They said, Well, if you’re available to drive the next one Do you mind doing that? She said yes. We have had a driver get lost. This was in North West Texas. So that should say a lot. There’s not a whole lot there. And luckily we knew way. Knew someone who had contact in the area who actually went and found her and help her get that own robe. Well, and so it ran, you know, two hours late. We had a run early. Usually is no. 2015 to 20 minutes early. It’s not like a big deal. If they’re running late, it’s could kind of be more of a deal because some of these dogs are on the road for 10 hours a day and getting to your overnight at a reasonable time, Ms Powerful and something you want to have. But, I mean, we’ve got dogs get into their overnights at 10 or 11. I mean, there’s traffic construction, things that you just can’t avoid, that something can come up perfectly smooth. Unfortunately, it sounds like a lot of lot of workers into coordinating these a lot of time. Like you said, a lot of O. C. D is why Why do why do you spend all this time every week doing this? Because I loved me. I mean, I started driving and we kind of got I don’t want to use the word pushed because we want forced into doing it but helping transports of these dogs from Miranda locations and it’s just it’s a great feeling. It za really great feeling to drive a dog for one or two legs and then to see you know, those after photos of him being announced just chilling on the couch with this new owners and it’s, you know, you help do that. But when you have coordinated it or assistant and coordinating it monitored it. The entire thing is like your baby, so it’s even more fulfilling to have done an entire trip for a dog, then just driving one leg. Sure that he said, I mean, we value all of our drivers, all of our overnight people, whether you drive 45 minutes or when the drive two hours, I can’t do it without them, right? Are there any particular transport stories either that you did or coordinated that that hold a special place in your heart that you want to share? We maybe two years ago did a It was an aggressive German shepherd was coming from a situation where him, the owner, couldn’t beat them any longer. And he was going thio training and Obama, and that was him. He’s a big dog and keeping him having to keep him in a crate and make sure everybody, you know, don’t be stupid and stick your finger in the crate or something like that. And him getting over to training finally and starting to turn her own, Um, that was one. There are definitely Maur better ones than there are bad ones. That was, That’s one that I can think of. Sure, no. Yeah, you just get off from a bad situation or out of a shelter into a rescue for help or into a doctor’s home is it’s It’s a great feeling. Sure. Is there any other advice or suggestions that you give to anybody that’s interested in transport? Make sure you know what you’re transporting. Um, keep up. You know, ask questions. The more information you have about the animal for the group or where the dog is going, the better you should feel about doing it. Like I said, we do background checks on our drivers. We do them on the rescues. We require them to send us copies of their licenses So I think it’s important to know what’s going on with the animal. Like why it’s being transferred. Transported, you know? Is it going from a correct the situation? Thio? Is it going to a reputable rest? I know that not all volunteers can just go out and get Gather all this information, but ask questions. I mean, as a TC, I like it when people ask me. Well, can I do this for the dog? Or how does the dog feel about this? Or what Can you tell me about this, Rex, you that the dog is going to do your research? Be prepare. Don’t wait until the last minute to contact your T. C. If you have a question or a problem. Yeah, definitely. Ask. Don’t just assume. Ask what? Communication, communication, Communication, You know, that’s great advice. Well, thanks, Jess. We appreciate you being on the program today, and I appreciate you sharing all of your experiences. Thank you. 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