An assessment of capacity for intake and adoption along the Northeast corridor from New Jersey up to Maine and the known need for assistance in shelters in the Southeast coupled with St. Hubert’s experience with the established NJ Sister Shelter Program, made it clear that the development of this WayStation Program would greatly impact lifesaving by ending the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable dogs of all ages.
The WayStation Sister Shelter Program is leading the way for shelters in the Northeast who have both the capacity and the potential adopters to accept animals from overburdened organizations where lower population density and a lack of affordable, accessible spay/neuter services result in homeless dog numbers that far exceed available homes. The transfer effort is unique because while it is large in area coverage and number of animals it is not operated by a mammoth organization with unlimited resources, but rather is borne of the combined efforts of small to mid-size shelters who share a common mission. The network of destination partners has achieved great success with canine spay/neuter, adoptions and retention in the home in their communities. Like St. Hubert’s, none of them are content to rest on those laurels when there are animals elsewhere in need and all partners share the philosophy that compassion knows no borders. The program helps older dogs, animals with special needs and larger dogs as standard operating procedure, not just puppies. All are committed to providing a “hands-up” to those in areas where dogs are at risk at shelters operated by the same kind of dedicated, motivated colleagues constrained by demographics and extremely limited resources.
All partners adhere to “Above and Beyond Best Practices” in their sheltering and transport protocols. Destination shelters donate $25 for every dog they welcome into their care, earmarked for low or no cost surgeries for local pets. This Give Back component, which is a requirement to become a WayStation destination partner, ensures that every adoption results in more pets being spayed/neutered in the source communities. Source partners, accustomed to having to stretch limited resources on a daily basis, customize their usage of funds to optimize the benefit. From the program’s inception in August 2016 through May of 2019 more than $272,000 from St. Hubert’s and WayStation destination partners has been invested in spay/neuter in source shelter communities, addressing the root cause of overpopulation in their regions.
More From The Sister Shelter WayStation Program
Sister Shelter WayStation Program by the Numbers...
*Average - Taken from weekly number of animals transported.
Transport Alone is Not Enough...
Our "hands up" approach provides additional support to source shelters beyond the "Give Back" component.
Destination partners (including St. Hubert’s) return a portion of the adoption fee or every relocated dog to the source shelter. These funds are earmarked for them to provide low or no cost spay/neuter surgeries within their communities to reduce the numbers of homeless puppies entering their shelters. By June of 2019 more than $272,325 has been invested in getting at the root of the problem since the program’s inception and the amount increases with each transport.
In September 2017 St. Hubert’s began providing $20 for each relocated dog to the source shelters in order that, despite their own very limited resources, they can provide vaccination on intake for ALL dogs entering their shelters. By June 2019 more than $132,520 has been distributed to the source partners and grows with each transport as well.
St. Hubert’s Sister Shelter WayStation Program provides scholarships for personnel from source partners to attend HSUS Animal Care Expo, the country’s largest conference for animal welfare professionals. Since 2017 20 partner representatives who would not otherwise be able to take advantage of this valuable training and networking opportunity have been able to attend with their registration, lodging, and travel provided.
Through the Maddie’s Fund Apprenticeship Program, St. Hubert’s is able to host several sessions of Maddie's® Hands-Up Hub and Spoke Transport Model Apprenticeship at St. Hubert's annually and to date 23 animal welfare professionals representing 21 organizations throughout the country have attended to learn how to increase lifesaving by replicating St. Hubert’s successful model in their own areas.
St. Hubert’s staff members offer onsite training and enrichment toolkits to source partners at no cost. Team members from St. Hubert’s and source partners work hands-on together with the goal of enhancing source partner skills and assisting them with designing successful enrichment programs using the space and resources that are available to them.
St. Hubert’s and WayStation destination partners share tangible resources with source partners whenever possible. Animal housing and sheltering equipment, food, toys, and other valuable items are sent on transport regularly.
Last Updated: 5/29/2019