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Collierville Animal Shelter pups board bus to better future

The PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin’ van made a stop at the Collierville Animal Shelter last week.

A downpour of rain had just started, but unbeknownst to them, the future was getting brighter for several shelter dogs.

The Rescue Waggin’ picks up dogs from shelters where there is overpopulation and transports them to shelters where there is more likelihood for adoption.

The shelter was selected to participate in the program last year and is one of 79 animal shelters in the dog-saving network.
Shelter Manager John Harper was overseeing the transfer, which took 19 dogs to a shelter in Michigan.

A representative from the Rescue Waggin’ program stood behind a table at the front of the shelter and examined each puppy before he or she boarded the van. As shelter staff members or volunteers held the puppy, the Rescue Waggin’ representative checked eyes, ears, nose, belly and anywhere else there might be a sign of illness.

The puppies confirmed their fitness for travel by becoming squirmy a few minutes into the exam.

There was a lot of laughter in the room as each person and puppy pair made their way through the assembly line, and a lot of goodbye hugs as the fit puppies were passed through hands at the front door.

The shelter’s system of giving each litter alphabetically similar names was helpful in making sure every dog was where he or she was supposed to be.

The Rescue Waggin’ is one of pet care retailer PetSmart’s many charitable programs. When a shelter is selected to participate in the program, staff members are trained by Rescue Waggin’ to recognize which dogs are physically and behaviorally eligible to be transported.

The program has saved the lives of more than 80,000 dogs and puppies since 2004.

The Collierville Animal Shelter staff strives to connect adopters with the right pet, and they offer regular training for volunteers.

For more information about volunteering or making donations, go to