The Planes, Vans & Automobiles Rescue Transport helped 6 dogs travel over 800 miles in a single day to reach rescue!


April 4: We learn about 4 ACDs in North Carolina in danger of being euthanized

The dogs are: 10 year old Roscoe, 3 year old Belle, 2 year old Sadie, and 2 year old Becca.

They were pack mates who ended up in the shelter as a result of a break up.  All temperament evaluations were wonderful: sweet dogs showing no signs of aggression. However, none had been spayed or neutered and 2 had heartworm – a very serious condition that can be avoided through the use of monthly heartworm preventative. Now, lots of medical costs and painful treatment loomed in their future.

Volunteers in PA and NJ stepped up to foster. And the Board of Directors agreed that the rescue would take on the medical costs. Graham Price, a caring shelter worker, took all 4 dogs home with him to keep them safe while we scrambled to come up with a plan to bring the dogs North. Graham used the time to get the girls spayed and Roscoe neutered. He also got them all their necessary shots and health certificates and ACDRA reimbursed him for the medical care. Total spent on shelter fees and medical care thus far: $505.

Now, to find a way to bring them North.


Week of April 10: Dogs in North and South Carolina need help

We learned about Chase, a handsome boy in a shelter in South Carolina, and Tucker, a gorgeous boy with heartworm in North Carolina.

So many dogs in the South need our help. Since we were already commited to the Fab 4 (as we were now calling them), what were we to do?

Volunteers coordinated with the shelter managers to get both dogs temperament tested and they passed! Again, we were facing the looming cost of Heartworm treatment for Tucker – on top of the 2 HW+ dogs waiting to be transported. Yet the decision was made that if we could find foster homes, we will take both dogs and take on the treatment cost.

With that, 1 foster home stepped up to take both dogs!

Expenses for Chase and Tucker up until now are low: $63.


April 15-17: Transport planning, planning and more planning!

ACDRA volunteers looked into transporting options to move all 6 dogs north together. A paid transport would make it all easy, but it cost $600 – too much considering all the medical costs we had to consider.  So we put out a call for volunteers and others to drive a few hours of a long leg transport. Unfortunately, there were big stretches along the transport route where there was no one to help.

Enter Pilot ‘n Paws – an amazing organization of pilots who offer free flights to dog rescues for the sole purpose of moving dogs to safety. If we could find a pilot who would get Chase and Tucker close to where Graham lived, they could meet up and we just might be able to manage a leg transport from that point.

An idea is born! The PLANES, VANS & AUTOMOBILES Rescue Transport!

We will move Chase and Tucker BY AIR from South Carolina to Williamsburg, Virginia. Pat Isaacs, an ACDRA volunteer, will meet the plane and drive the boys north of Richmond.

Graham will DRIVE the Fab 4 from Goldsboro, North Carolina to Richmond, Virginia.

And Cheryl Gentry, ACDRA volunteer and the intended foster mom of Tucker and Chase, will DRIVE and DRIVE and DRIVE from Coatesville, PA to the same spot in Richmond to meet all dogs and drive them back to PA.

All in one day!


Monday, April 18: Leg 1 

This promises to be a long day for the 6 lucky dogs and 8 dedicated transporters!

Cheryl and her brother, David, set off in a cargo van for the long drive from Coatesville, PA to Richmond, Virginia. It’s 241 miles and should take about 4 ½ hours.


Monday April 18: Leg 2

Meanwhile, the transporting is getting underway in South Carolina. The first step is delivering the 2 Red boys -- Tucker and Chase -- to the Rock Hill, South Carolina airport for their Pilots 'n Paws flight with pilot J. Keith Decker.

J. Keith Decker (R), the Pilots 'n Paws hero for Tucker and Chase. With him is president of Pilots 'n Paws, Nick O'Connell.Keisa McCoy, a wonderful shelter worker at Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control in North Carolina took Tucker and Chase into her home overnight and delivered them promptly to Keith on Monday morning.

Keith took off around 10:30AM and arrived in Williamsburg, VA around noon. This would have taken 6 hours to drive, but Keith flew it in an hour and a half!

We offer our sincerest thanks to Keith and the entire Pilots 'n Paws organization for helping Tucker and Chase successfully complete the first leg of this transport!


Monday April 18: Leg 3

Pat and David in front of the soon to be packed cargo van.Pat Isaacs drives from Chevy Chase, MD to the Williamsburg airport to meet pilot Keith Decker and takes Tucker and Chase from him.

Back in the car, Pat drives north to the meeting spot outside Richmond – where Cheryl and her brother are already waiting.


Monday, April 18: Leg 4 

Meanwhile Graham has set out from Goldsboro, NC with Roscoe, Sadie, Becca and Belle. They have been with him for almost 2 weeks. They were all recently spayed and neutered so he's driving carefully to keep them calm.

Cheryl, David and Graham with the Fab 4!Graham’s trek is a 174 mile/3 hour drive on a good day. This day was not so good. Road work delayed him by over an hour but he arrived to cheers from Pat, Cheryl and David. Together they met and walked the Fab 4 and got all of them ready for the long drive.


Monday, April 18: Leg 5

Cheryl and David started on the long trip back home almost 2 hours later than planned. All the dogs were snug in their crates, except for Roscoe, who doesn’t enjoy crate accommodations! Being around 10 years old, everyone agreed he could travel how ever he felt most comfortable.

At 9:30 that night, the van pulled into the meeting spot just north of Philadelphia! 6 dogs on board and 2 tired transporters.

Cheryl has the energy to give Belle a little walk upon arrival.Meeting the van was Karen Cox, an ACDRA volunteer planning to foster Sadie and Belle and Marianne Ahern, Roscoe's foster mom. Karen also took Becca home with her until ACDRA volunteer Emily Wizorek could pick her up (in a week) to foster her.

Karen and Marianne had short drives home but Cheryl and David had another hour ahead of them to finally get home. There, Cheryl and her partner, Chris Abrams, gave Chase and Tucker some food and much needed baths! Yes, it was a very long day for everyone concerned.

But the journey continues for the 6 dogs transported...

The handsome Chase!


Tuesday, April 19: Leg 6

Poor Roscoe. His travels are not over. Being neutered at such an advanced age is tough. He was badly swollen and his stitches were obviously infected. A trip to the vet netted him much needed anitbiotics and pain killers. Oh, and a fancy collar he needs to wear until he is suffiently healed.

That's another $144 in medical costs.

Find out more about the importance of spaying and neutering your dog here.


Tuesday, April 26: Leg 7

Becca had some time to settle and now she takes another trip – to the vet to begin her heartworm treatment. Becca received 2 shots over 2 days under the care of her vet. Read more about heartworm treatment protocol here.

The shots are very painful and recovery includes 4 full weeks of total crate rest. No walks, no running around. Becca must live an indoor life.

The reason for this is that embolism to some degree is inevitable and it is important to minimize embolism-related problems. Exercise increases heart rate and oxygen demand and we need the heart to rest during this recovery period.

A huge thank you to Dr. Tack at Black River Veterinary Hospital for a sizeable rescue discount on Becca's heartworm treatment. The cost of treatment is normally $1000 and Dr. Tack provided the service for $250!