Humane society takes 26 dogs to New Hampshire shelters

Over the Independence Day weekend, 26 dogs got their chance at freedom when Jennifer Miller and Claire Woodall drove them from the Shelby County Humane Society to two shelters in New Hampshire.

The 24-hour trip had to be made all in one drive, with minimal stopping, to ensure the animals arrived safely in New Hampshire, which has stricter spaying and neutering laws that drastically cut down on the number of stray dogs.

“The program began in 2006 when our executive director Ronda Steciuk was looking for a creative way to solve overcrowding,” said Jennifer Miller, president of the board directors at the humane society. “More than 7,000 pets come into the humane society per year.”

Drivers on the trip are volunteers who donate their time and gas money to save lives, stopping only occasionally to refill water bowls and walk some of larger breeds.

“We try to pack a lot of our own food so we can stop less,” Miller said.

Her favorite part is arriving at the Humane Society in New Hampshire and seeing all the volunteers waiting outside.

“Everyone’s excited to see you and you know you’ve impacted the life of the dog and the family who adopts it,” Miller said.

New Hampshire, like many New England states, strictly enforces spaying and neutering laws to protect animals and people alike.

“I’d like to see legislators in Alabama take it seriously,” Miller said. “It’s not just whether you like animals; it’s a public health issue when you’re talking about stray dogs running around without the vaccinations they need.”

The humane society tries to make the trip as often as possible, but it’s completely dependent on volunteers willing to donate their time and gas money. It generally takes about three days to make the entire trip, but Miller said it’s incredibly rewarding.

“It saves the lives of these animals,” she said. “It gives the dogs a second chance at life.”

To learn more about the trip or to volunteer, check out the blog at Goingthedistancetosavelives.blogspot.com or call the Shelby County Humane Society.