Why Volunteer to Transport?
CSRA covers all of central and parts of west and south Texas. We work together when it comes to finding our rescue Cockers good homes. Sometimes our Cockers come from shelters far from where their foster home will be. Sometimes the best home is found in a town other than where the Cocker is being fostered. Sometimes the Cocker needs surgery, training, or special foster care to get ready for their new home. Any of these reasons result in the need to move our Cockers to other locations within our area. That is a lot of territory to cover when it comes to transporting a Cocker!
Transporting is a great way to give a small amount of your time without the long-term commitment needed to foster. It is also a great way to combine assisting CSRA with activities you might not otherwise have done. Take a friend with you and catch up on the latest news while helping CSRA do a transport. Do some shopping in a long distance town after dropping off your Cocker. Regardless of whatever else you might do along the way, you can be sure CSRA and the Cocker appreciate your support!
What do I need to transport?
You have taken the first step by indicating your desire to help! Let’s go from here.
Of course, you need to have a vehicle in order to help with a transport. Usually it is best to transport a Cocker while it is in a crate. However, many of our transports are also done in cars and without crates. Without a crate, you need to take a few extra precautions to keep the Cocker safe such as double leashing the dog to a seat belt in the back seat of the car.
What will the Cocker come with?
Usually the Cocker will not be transported with a crate. Most of our volunteers who choose to transport with a crate already have one and use their own. CSRA also has spare crates that you can borrow for transport. For those who chose not to use crates, we encourage you to put a blanket on the seat and tie the leash to a fastened seat belt. If for some reason, the Cocker will be coming with a crate that needs to be passed on, we will let you know ahead of time to ensure you can accommodate the crate.
The Cocker should come with a leash and collar set and a CSRA tag. If you are transporting an Cocker directly from a shelter or surrender situation, you may be required to bring a leash, collar and tag with you. Contact the intake coordinator to get a supply of these. If you need to buy a leash and collar set, save the receipt and we will reimburse you for it. Another thing to remember about the collar – if you are the person to put the collar on the dog, make sure that it is adjusted properly so the Cocker cannot back out of it and get loose. Many times the Cocker will also come with a care package. This might include some food, treats, toys, a blanket, bowls, etc. You can put the dog’s blanket in the crate or on the seat, give them a toy or two and some treats to help ease the stress of the transport.
What about paperwork?
If you are picking up a Cocker from a shelter or surrender situation, you will be responsible for getting the required paperwork. Shelters should have some release paperwork for you when you pick up the Cocker. If you are meeting someone to handle a surrender, you may need to print out a copy of CSRA’s Owner Release (available on the Web) in advance. Have the person surrendering the dog fill it out as completely as possible and sign it. Be sure to ask for any vet papers and get the name, address and phone of the vet who had been taking care of the Cocker.
If you are picking up an Cocker from a foster situation and transporting him to his new home, make sure you have all of the vet records and an CSRA Foster Home Report. If the Placement Contract and adoption fee has not been taken care of in advance, you may also have that paperwork to pass on as well.
As you hand off the dog to the next person on a transport, make sure the person has all of the paperwork. If the last person is a new adopter and you need to handle the Placement Contract and donation, wait while the new family finishes filling out and signing the Placement Contract and gives you a check. In this case, there should be an addressed, stamped envelope with two copies of the Placement Contract. Leave one with the new adopter and put the other in the envelope along with the check and drop it in the mail yourself. Please do not leave the envelope with the new adopter to handle. As much as possible, the coordinator will try to handle the paperwork and adoption fee ahead of time so that you don’t have to.
Will the Cocker ride well?
Most Cockers ride just fine. You must remember, however, that this is a stressful time for the Cocker. He is meeting many new people along the way and he may not be used to riding for long distances. If we know the cocker is nervous, we may have a vet prescribe something to relax him for the trip. A crate is a good choice for those cockers who may be a little anxious. In our experience, most cockers will do just fine in a crate or on a blanket on the seat
At each stop, let the cocker out for a potty break. Try to give them only small amounts of water or food along the way to help keep them from getting sick.
Can I bring my dog along?
Please plan on leaving your pets at home. Again, remember this is a stressful time for an Cocker. The confines of a vehicle are no place to find out that your dog and the Cocker do not get along.
What is the history of the Cocker?
Many people who help us transport want to know a little about the Cocker they are transporting. Large Cockers may be tough to pick up if necessary to get them into a vehicle. Older dogs may not be physically able to get into a vehicle. Nervous dogs may need a crate and medication. As much as possible, we will pass this information on to you.
Other people want to know about the Cocker’s history “just because”. The transporter is a very important part of this Cocker’s new life and we will be happy tell you whatever we know.
Do I coordinate the transport?
There are some transports where you are the only person doing the driving. In these cases, you may be given the phone numbers of the people on either end to coordinate times and locations.
Longer-distance transports, however, are coordinated in advance by our Transportation Coordinator. He or she will arrange times, obtain phone numbers, determine meeting locations and publish everything in advance to everyone concerned.
What distance will I have to drive?
This is your call. We appreciate your help and will be happy with whatever driving you can do.
How often do I have to transport?
Again, this is up to you. Our Transportation Coordinator may call on you several times in a short period if there are transports coming through your area. We expect that you will help only when you can and let us know when you cannot.
What if no one is there to meet me?
When a transport is arranged, our Transportation Coordinator will make sure that everyone has each other’s cell phone numbers, if available. Hopefully, you should be able to reach the next person on their cell phone. You can also reach the Transportation Coordinator or a designated person who will be available during the time of the transport in case someone does not have a cell phone.
CSRA also gives volunteers window stickers to make it easy to recognize the next volunteer in a transport chain.
Can I be reimbursed?
CSRA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and as such we rely on the generosity of our supporters. We hope as much as possible that you can donate the expenses of a transport. If you would like, we can give you a letter to acknowledge your participation of a transport so that you have documentation come tax time.
If you feel you need to be reimbursed in order to transport, we do understand. We try as much as possible to use volunteers who are able to donate both their time and expenses.
Can I use my airplane?
CSRA has a few volunteers who have private airplanes and use them to transport Cockers. If it works out to transport an Cocker by airplane, our Transportation Coordinator will help set this up just like a ground transport. CSRA fully understands the need for the pilot to make a good weather decision and we will be prepared to make a back-up plan if things cannot happen on schedule.
A crate is a must for travel by private airplane. Most 4-seat aircraft will handle a size 4 airline crate which is what we normally use for our Cockers.
Remember, if you decide to help CSRA transport a Cocker by private airplane, CSRA will not be able to reimburse you. Federal Aviation Regulations prohibit a pilot from taking compensation for a flight unless they are operating “for hire.” CSRA will be happy to give you a letter acknowledging the flight for your taxes.
How do I sign up?
Contact Us to let us know how you would like to help. We will be thrilled to hear from you and will help you get started volunteering for CSRA.