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The Shelter Dog Transport Alliance

Is a partnership of over a dozen county animal shelters and rescues

throughout the South. Our aim is to work together to ensure every shelter dog gets a second chance at life. A recent study by Best Friends Animal Society has 

North Carolina ranked #3 for the highest shelter euthanasia rate, 

behind only California and Texas. In order to tackle this statistic we are currently partnering with animal rescues in New England as well as Canada to relocate our dogs to safety and into loving homes when our shelters become critically full.

We decided to initiate this transport program because we never want to have to euthanize any of our shelter dogs because we simply don’t have a place for them. Further, we need to reduce overcrowding in our shelters so that we always have room to compassionately care for abandoned or neglected animals. Because of space limitations, many of our shelters have waitlists for people wanting to surrender animals. This has sadly led to the regular practice of individuals ‘dumping’ helpless puppies, elderly animals, or animals that are simply unwanted by roadsides or empty fields.

Our ultimate goal is to save lives, however, as we do so we are simultaneously working towards addressing the root causes that lead to our shelters being overcrowded. The Shelter Dog Transport Alliance is a life saving partnership that

 will not rest until our State is no longer a deadly statistic.

The Shelter Dog Transport Alliance is a 501c3 animal transport program based in Asheville, NC


Transport is a life-saving outlet that not only spares precious lives, but affords us the additional breathing room to focus on making sustainable changes to address overpopulation. When shelters are inundated with unwanted strays, owner surrenders and medical emergencies; they exist on survival mode, simply moving from one crisis to another. When shelters have manageable populations, they are more planful and proactive around addressing animal welfare challenges within their own communities. If you are a reputable rescue or humane society and wish to partner with us in making a difference, please contact us. It takes a village to do what we do, and there's simply no way we can do it without our rescue families up North. 



The Shelter Dog Transport Alliance was founded on the premise of ensuring no shelter animal ever has to lose their life due to lack of space. For cats and kittens in this State, this is an all-too-common reality due to overpopulation. Transport often is a shelter cats last hope, so we are grateful beyond measure for this life-saving outlet. Our cat transport program is currently directed by Brittany Wright, shelter manager at McDowell County Animal Services. If you are a reputable rescue or humane society and wish to partner with us in making a difference, please contact us. 

"Our transport program was founded in January 2020 during a visit to an overcrowded WNC rural county shelter. The shelter director desperately needed help with bigger adult dogs, slow to warm up dogs, medical cases as well as seniors. Unfortunately, in our shelter systems these types of dogs are sadly the ones left behind. We knew Northern transport was a rescue option, however, the giant leap of getting a dog from a rural, underfunded North Carolina shelter to a reputable, rescue in New York or Canada seemed like an impossible reality. We had no backing or support from a large Humane Society, we had never worked with a rescue beyond our State, and we had no van...but what we did have were some of the greatest underdogs in the world, and for them we were committed to making the impossible possible.


Two months later we had everything needed to run transport, and so we initiated our first trip North with 31 souls on board. Thanks to the kindness of friends, family and strangers, a whirlwind tour of NY rescues; away we went that March evening! Today we have over a dozen 'rescue families' North to whom we regularly transport our shelter cats and dogs, while supporting over 22 county shelter systems and rescues throughout the State of North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky. We have 3 transport vans in our fleet--Big Honey, Big Kitty and Big Hun 2, who offer transport services North free of charge to any shelter dog or cat in need. 


The Shelter Dog Transport Alliance was founded on the premise of uniting shelters and rescues near and far to maximize our life- saving capacities. We knew our small transport program would never alone have the impact we wished to see. So, we put our faith and efforts into creating a culture of compassionate partnerships in which the power of 'We' is harnessed for our most vulnerable. I cannot alone save them all, but I sure know our alliance of rescue families and local shelters are going to try.  If you would like to be a part of this extraordinary mission, please reach out to us today. Our shelter animals are counting on us"



Shelter Dog Transport Alliance Founder

Natasha Kush

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