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 establishment of the WayStation Transfer Program would greatly impact lifesaving and a reduction in the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable dogs of all ages.
The WayStation program is leading the way for shelters in the Northeast, who have both the capacity and the potential adopter, 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 have all achieved great success with canine spay/neuter, adoptions, and retention in the home in their communities. Annually, these 23 source shelters have 182,000 animals pass through their doors. Like St. Hubert’s, none of them are content to rest on those laurels when there are animals elsewhere in need of and all partners share the philosophy that compassion knows no boarders. 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. The “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.
The “Give Back” program establishes that the destination shelter will donate $25 for every dog they welcome into their care. The funds accumulated from this transport are then channeled back to the source shelter to promote the spay/neuter services in their community.