POINT PLEASANT — The Ohio Valley Rescue Transport Team (OVRTT) is looking for new members.
The organization, which is funded and operated entirely by volunteers, takes animals from shelters and transports them to rescue groups that work to get the animals adopted. OVRTT works with shelters in the Ohio River Valley and sends them as far away as Canada and all across the east coast.
Carey Riffle, local volunteer and transporter for OVRTT, explained the group needs more volunteers in this area. Some animal shelters charge a pull fee for rescues, which increases cost for groups already tight on funds.
“Mason County (animal shelter) does not charge pull fees, so rescues like to come here for dogs a lot,” said Riffle.
Before a dog is chosen, it must pass a temperament test and photos are sent to rescues. Once a destination has been set, a coordinator in Columbus sets up transport in stages from the shelter to the rescue, which may go as far as Canada. Local volunteers travel up to three hours away where the animal is passed off to the next transporter.
Some of the transports are local as well, taking shelter dogs to the veterinarians for check ups and medical care. There is currently a lack in volunteers and a surplus of animals needing transported.
“It’s for the good of the animals. This is one way to help the situation. We have an overpopulation around here,” said Riffle. She also said this isn’t to make more room in the shelter but to help the animals get rescued and adopted.
“We aren’t affiliated with the shelter, although we work closely with them,” said Riffle. OVRTT is a network spread across Ohio, West Virginia and surrounding areas.
Riffle said the biggest need for their organization right now is volunteers, the transports cannot happen with them. While donations of collars, leashes and gas cards are welcome, volunteers are the biggest need.
To get involved, contact Riffle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-812-2051, or look them up on Facebook at “Ohio Valley Rescue Transport Team.”
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.