Samantha Burnett and Lexie Parker were in high spirits last week as they started a road trip of 800 miles that began at the Central Oklahoma Humane Society's new quarantine facility at 2901 SE 29.
Nestled in their crates, 19 puppies and adult dogs were along for the ride.
The two Humane Society employees, along with the passel of hounds, were bound for the Animal Humane Society in Minnesota, where the canines would be welcomed with open arms — and no threat of euthanasia.
The animals are safe from euthanasia at the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, but the facility is running at maximum capacity.
Burnett and Parker left Oklahoma City at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, drove about 15 hours, and arrived about 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Golden Valley location of the Animal Humane Society of Minnesota.
This was the first interstate transport of this kind for the Central Oklahoma Humane Society — a fact that is both good and bad, depending how you look at it.
“We hope there's a day when our general public thinks our animals are as cool as the general public of Minnesota does,” said Christy Counts, executive director of the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. The Humane Society plans to arrange several interstate pet transports per month to various partner Humane Society locations, Counts said.
She said she is excited about the new program, which will save the lives of thousands of adoptable pets each year if all goes as planned. But she said she's frustrated that Oklahoma lags behind many more pet-friendly states, such as Minnesota, where fewer animals are unwanted, more are adopted from shelters, and more importance is placed on spaying and neutering pets.
Currently, the Central Oklahoma Humane Society handles more than 17,000 animals per year, Counts said. Most of these animals are turned over from various Oklahoma City shelters.
The transport project began with the building of the quarantine facility which started a year ago. The facility is not open to the public.
Now the animals can be quarantined for a couple of weeks, best practice when transporting animals anywhere, Counts said, and they can be safely delivered to partner Humane Societies in other states to await adoption.
— Heather Warlick Moore
To submit a pet story and photo, e-mail your story and photo to hwarlick@