We give a shout-out to volunteer rescue-animal transporters—all those who drive or fly homeless dogs, cats and other animals in need of a second chance and a real shot at finding a forever home. Across state lines, in wind, rain and snow, these big-hearted people spend their free time taking adoptable animals from areas of the country where shelters are underfunded and overcrowded to areas where adoptable animals are in short supply. In doing so, the transporters are helping animals of all ages—from the very young to seniors—escape meager lives, abuse and abandonment.

The volunteers often tag-team, ferrying the animals over long distances (the black puppies shown above traveled from Louisiana to Pennsylvania). Each transporter is responsible for one leg of the journey, handing off their precious cargo at rest stops, truck stops, public parks or small airfields. The dogs and…

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