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Why is California sending homeless pets to the Northwest?

Alycia Hadfield

This past week alone 160 dogs and cats were transported from overcrowded, high-kill shelters in southern California to multiple non-kill shelters and rescue organization around the Northwest.

The non-profit, Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (S.T.A.R.T.) organized the shipment of animals to Oregon and Washington. Four Washington based rescue groups partnered with S.T.A.R.T. — Must Love Dogs, Puget Sound Rescue, Collar of Hope and Smidget the Rescue.

“It costs the government more to euthanize an animal than it does to transport one,” said Steven Spiro of S.T.A.R.T.

According to Spiro is costs approximately $50 to euthanize an animal, while it cost $3,000 to transport the 160 animals, saving roughly $5,000 though out the entire process.

Since the organization was founded in May 2011 it has saved nearly 2,400 animals.

“The Northwest is very pet friendly,” said Alycia Hadfield, President of Must Love Dogs. “Although we aren’t perfect, we have a stronger community of educated, responsible pet owners than most anywhere in the country.”

Must Love Dogs took in six dogs last week. Hadfield explained that all dogs fostered by her organization first go through a screening process to make sure their temperament is acceptable or able to be rehabilitated.

Junior Communication major at Pacific Lutheran University.