How to Bring Rescue Dogs From California to Washington

Dogs can be rescued from California shelters and transported to other states where their chances of adoption are greater.
Unhappy little dog image by lune from <a href=''></a>

Animal overpopulation is a serious problem that has affected the United States for decades. Statistics from the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy show that 56 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized. When one area becomes severely overpopulated with stray or abandoned animals, it is possible to save the lives of more dogs by transporting them to other parts of the country not as badly affected.

How to transport rescue dogs from California to Washington

Step 1

Contact an animal transport rescue network. Online transport groups such as California Rescue Railroad operate and can be accessed through Yahoo! chat rooms or forums. Volunteers connect with one another online to arrange the pickup and transport of at-risk dogs.

Step 2

Call and ask the local animal shelter or a rescue organization for references for trusted transport volunteers. Many animal shelter staff and animal control agencies already have contacts for volunteers who work together across the country to drive rescued animals from high-kill shelters to foster homes or no-kill shelters in other states.

Step 3

Transport the animal yourself. If you're looking to rescue a dog or two from an animal shelter or other undesirable situation, you yourself can always drive the animal to Washington. Be certain you've secured a safe place for the animals to stay upon arrival. Contact no-kill animal shelters or rescue groups in Washington to accept the dog or arrange a foster home before starting your journey.

Step 4

Pay for airfare and fly the rescue dog to a prearranged foster home in Washington. This can be both traumatic for the dog and a more expensive method of bringing rescue dogs from California to Washington, but many airlines, such as American Airlines, allow paying customers to fly pets from one destination to another.


  • Animals traveling by car should be secured during travel with seat-belt harnesses or in kennels for their own safety and the safety of the driver. Water should also be readily available for the animal during transport.

Items You Will Need

  • Animal transport network
  • Car
  • Volunteer drivers