In late July CAN-DO obtained a 34′ motor home thanks to the generosity of web-donor, “Ray M.”. Our original plan was to use the motor home as our central office while still on the Gulf Coast. However, after the introduction of our -Pet Evacuation Proposal- to congress, we were eager to put our plan into action.

With time running out on the fate of these animals we made a quick decision to gut the RV (to hold more animals) and begin transport immediately. Greg Beckman flew from Illinois to New Orleans and met Bob Putnam, in Pearlington,MS to start the procedure of gutting the RV. We removed the entire interior cabin; both captain chairs, a dinette table and a sleeper sofa. We then removed the mattress from the rear bedroom, closet doors and bathroom door to insure maximum air flow. We were able to stack 64+ carriers in the renovated interior, allowing us to transport four times as many animals much efficiently then our previous transports. A local mechanic gave the RV a thorough once over and determined that all mechanical equipment was in good
working order.

August 14th
On Monday, Bob Putnam communicated with Claudia and Colleen by e-mail and phone as to which animals were going to available for the transport north. After e-mailing pictures we connected rescue groups, no-kill shelters and foster homes(in Minnesota) to determine how many of the candidates could be placed. After getting confirmation back, Barb, Greg and Bob tagged the shelter kennels that contained the animals confirmed for transport. After checking the animals for fleas, tics and overall health, they were given shots and placed into our new rolling animal transport vehicle.

Using all available space, the shower and closet were converted into make shift holding areas. We were finally able to load 74 dogs and puppies into the RV.

August 22nd.
The idea was to be able to have access to all carriers so as to limit the amount of time spent cleaning, watering and feeding to occur while the rv was in motion. The generator ran according to plans and the front and back A/Cs kept the dogs at a normal core temperature. With the way the system worked, we were able to travel further without having to stop and unpack the cargo. Gas stops were more frequent and by splitting the driving responsibilities both greg and bob got to relax more than on other transports, (Gas average $1200. both ways). Two stops were made to walk the dogs and each averaged just under 2 1/2 hours. All told the transport from MS to Minn. took 28 hours. What is usually packed into 2 cargo vans(rented) were placed in the RV. Using the buddy system Bob and Greg were able to us less man power to transfer more animals.

Upon arriving in Minnesota, Bob and Greg were met by Claudia Beckman(Greg’s wife),Colleen Jefferson, and around twenty members of various animal groups who helped in exercising and cleaning the animals and their cages. It was quite a sight to see 74 dogs and puppies in one area. We used an outdoor hockey rink as the holding pens for the small dogs and puppies. As they were getting acclimated with their new surroundings, Bob,Greg,Claudia and Colleen discussed the hand off to the rescue groups. With the ladies able to concentrate on finding homes for the pets, dogs were dropped in a pre-arranged order making the process orderly and time efficient.

With all animals delivered to their new homes, the next few days were spent cleaning and disinfecting all carriers and the RV. At that time we realized that things with the rv were not quite right. The air conditioners would not run simultaneously, something they had done for the transport. The engine started sputtering and sounded as though it was on its last leg. Tom Jefferson put Bob in touch with his local mechanic who gave the rv a thorough going over. First attacking the engine, all plugs, wires and caps were replaced. All vacuum hoses were also replaced. On completion, the mechanic reported that we were only operating on 4 cylinders (of 8) but that the engine was not severely damaged. As of right now the rv is once again in good working order and we will continue our transports. Our goal in the future is to raise enough money to enact our (LINK)Pet Evacuation Proposal.


EK and Coz.

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