Rescue Waggin' gives pets a guaranteed second chance

Animal Welfare Specialist
Cathy has worked in the animal welfare field for more than 25 years. As a Director of Public Relations for local and national animal welfare agencies, Cathy developed and managed public relations programs, wrote press materials, and prepared staff to handle media interviews on animal issues.
Ernie, the 25,000th dog to take a ride on PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin'
Ernie, the 25,000th dog to take a ride on one of PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin' vehicles

Meet Ernie. He is the 25,000th dog to take a life-saving ride on a PetSmart Charities® Rescue Waggin’® vehicle.

The Rescue Waggin’ program, which celebrated its 5th anniversary this month, is a unique shelter transport program operated by PetSmart Charities, a nonprofit organization, that moves adoptable dogs from shelters with very high pet populations to shelters elsewhere in the country, where adoptable dogs are more in demand and have a better chance at finding new homes.

“The goal is to find a home for these dogs, where ever those homes may be,” says Susanna Della Maddalena, executive director for PetSmart Charities.

Four Rescue Waggin’s travel along the East coast, Midwest, Great Plains, and South Central States saving the lives of puppies and dogs that would otherwise have never found a home.

Arriving in a Rescue Waggin’ vehicle, Ernie’s life was saved when he was transported from an animal shelter in Fayetteville, Tennessee to Wayside Waifs Humane Society in Kansas City, Missouri, where Heather Ratteree and Philip Cole could not resist Ernie’s charms. Ernie was honored in St. Louis, Missouri last week for being the 25,000th lucky dog to take a ride on a Rescue Waggin’ vehicle.

With only about 20 percent of the public adopting from animal shelters, perhaps Ernie’s adorable face can remind potential adopters what wonderful personalities are waiting for loving homes at an animal shelter.