CanINE Express Transport Project

General Transport Requirements for Sending and Receiving Shelter Partners


Transport Preparation Protocol for Sending Shelter Partners.  

Prior to transport, participating sending shelters should load information about their available dogs on the CanINE Express website.   This information should include:  animal’s name, breed, age, gender (whether spayed or neutered; if the spay or neuter surgery cannot be documented and it is believed that the dog has been altered [i.e., possible spay scar], please indicate "possibly" spayed or neutered on website and all paperwork), weight, physical description (including any physical abnormalities), SAFER test scores, and detailed behavior information.  NOTE:  puppies must be 8 weeks or older the week of the transport in order to travel out-of-state, unless traveling with their mother. However, it’s preferable if pups are 12 weeks or older; puppies must have two sets of puppy vaccinations to guard against parvo.


Once selections have been made, sending shelters should use the following protocol to prepare their cats and dogs for each monthly transport:

Heartworm Test and Preventative:  Each dog over 4 months of age must have a heartworm test. Those who test positive for heartworm cannot ride the transport until they successfully have gone through all phases of the heartworm treatment or if the receiving shelter partner has agreed to take the heartworm positive dog. Dogs selected for transport should be current on heartworm preventative.

Flea Preventative:  Cats and dogs must be current on a flea preventative, such as Advantage, Frontline, Revolution or Comfortis prior to leaving on the transport. Capstar is not sufficient.

Vaccinations:  Dogs over 12 weeks of age must have rabies and bordetella vaccinations before they go on the transport. Also, dogs and puppies going on out-of-state transport need a minimum of 2 DA2PP vaccines (two weeks apart) before going on the transport. The rabies tag must be sent with the rabies certificate.  

Fecal Tests:  All adult dogs and puppies must have a fecal exam 7 - 10 days prior to the transport. If a parasite is found, this provides adequate time for treatment so the animals will arrive at destination shelters parasite-free.  

Behavior Test:  Dogs over 5 months of age should be SAFER tested to assess their behavior. Test results should not be older than 60 days prior to the transport date. The objective of this testing is to ensure that the dog have a friendly, non-aggressive behavior.

Health Check Form and Health Certificate for Interstate Transport:  For all cats and dogs traveling across state lines, a veterinarian-issued Health Certificate for Interstate Transport must be obtained prior to the transport. All information should be completed on the health certificate, including the product name of the vaccinations and listing the cat's/dog’s name in the I.D. column. Please check to make sure that the dog’s breed and age match what is listed on the medical history and any other paperwork that is being sent to the receiving shelters. Any health issues should be reported immediately to the receiving shelters so a decision can make as to whether the cat or dog should be transported. 

Permit Numbers for Indiana shelter dogs transported to the State of Illinois:  Illinois requires an entry permit number for all animals transported into Illinois to a shelter or rescue.  This number needs to be on the Health Certificate for it to be valid.   This number can be obtained from the following website:   For questions about the Illinois permit number contact Danielle Austin, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare, 217-782-4944.

Requirements for Sending Shelter Partners After Cats and Dogs are Selected for Transport

Indiana shelters are responsible for sending the medical history and behavior test results for each dog and cat selected by email attachment no later than 48 hours after the cat or dog is accepted for the transport. If any of the required transport protocol (e.g., rabies vaccination, heart worm preventative for dogs, FIV/FeLV for cats) is administered after the medical history has been sent, a date that the missing protocol will be given should be entered on the forms sent to the receiving shelters.  Cats and dogs are only "pre-selected" until the paperwork is reviewed by the receiving shelters.

Once the dogs and cats have been selected by the receiving shelters, a hold should be placed on him/her for the transport. This hold cannot be removed unless agreed upon by the receiving shelter. Out of courtesy to our receiving shelter partners -- since this is a collaborative project -- please call or email the contact person at the receiving shelter to ask if the dog/cat can be adopted locally.  With very few exceptions, the receiving shelter partners agree to this because they are glad for the dog/cat to "go home" as soon as possible.   Five days prior to transport, (or on a date specified by Cathi Eagan in an email message), dogs/cats must be sent on transport, except in the case of illness or behavioral issues.  If a dog/cat is pulled from the transport, it is the responsibility of the Indiana shelter to contact the receiving shelter with the full details (ccing Cathi Eagan).  Please do not offer out a replacement to the receiving shelter when a dog/cat has been pulled or adopted locally.  Rather, receiving shelters will go to the CanINE Express website to select a replacement that suits their adoption needs.  

Cats and dogs who are noticeably underweight (ribs showing, severely underweight for the cat or dog’s size or breed) should not be sent on the transport.  If a cat or dog has hair loss or a physical disability, a digital photo of the area affected should be taken and sent to the receiving shelter that has selected the dog.  On the day of the transport, cats and dogs should not be running a temperature, be lethargic, have diarrhea, nor be vomiting.  Eyes must be clear of discharge and redness, and their skin should be healthy with no lumps/bumps, red or dry patches or missing fur (no mange or ringworm).

It is the responsibility of the sending shelter to pull food the night before the transport and exercise the dogs the morning of the transport they can ride in comfort during the trip. All dogs must wear a well-fitting collar on the transport (not too loose or too tight).  A disposable litter pan, litter, and an open can of cat food should be placed inside each cat crate.

If a cat or dog is on medication when sending on transport, please make sure that the receiving shelter knows and approves him/her coming and give the medication (with the cat's or dog's name on it) to the driver with a written note of when the next dose is to be given and dosing instructions. 

Sending shelters are to supply crates for each dog and cat sent. Crates must be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized prior to transport. Dogs should have enough room in their crates to stand up, turn around, and extend their limbs. Crates must be put together using zip ties vs. screws and bolts, for easy and quick break down after the transport.  Crates should be in good working order and not have broken doors, tops or bottoms.  

Crate Sizes

Small:  21"L x 16"W x 15"H

Medium: 27"L x 20"W x 19"H

Intermediate: 32"L x 22"W x 23"H

Large: 36"L x 24"W x 26"H

X-Large: 40"L x 27"W x 30"H

Giant: 48"L x 32"W x 35"H

Responsibilities of Receiving Shelter Partners After Cat and Dogs are Delivered. 

Once at the receiving shelters, cats, dogs and puppies will receive immediate attention – exercised, fed, and given water.  Cathi Eagan, CanINE Express Transport Director will contact all receiving shelters within 24 hours of each transport delivery to ensure that all dogs are healthy and doing well.  Should there be a problem with any transported cat or dog at any time, Cathi Eagan should be notified immediately.  In the case of a medical or behavioral issue, a discussion will take place between the sending shelter, Cathi Eagan, and the receiving shelter to determine the outcome, such as returning the dog to the sending shelter on the next transport, placing the dog in the CanINE Express Residential Training Program, or transporting the dog to another CanINE Express receiving shelter partner.   No transported cat or dog should be euthanized without an agreement between the sending shelter, the receiving shelter, and CanINE Express Transport Founder/Director, Cathi Eagan.

The future and success of this transport is totally dependent upon your careful compliance with these guidelines.
If you have any questions related to these guidelines, please contact Cathi Eagan at or 812-720-0005. Thank you.


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