General Transport Requirements for Sending and Receiving Shelter Partners


Transport Preparation Protocol for Sending Shelter Partners.  Sending shelters should post available dogs and cats on the CanINE Express website image galleries.  In a sense of fairness to all shelter partners, Indiana sending shelters should not contact receiving shelters directly, allowing them to make their selections.  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:  See each Receiving Shelters transport requirements pages for specific testing requirements.

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

Vaccinations:   See each Receiving Shelters transport requirement pages for specific vaccination requirements.  NOTE:  A rabies vaccination 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. If an animal tests positive for coccidia and Marquis Paste is not available through the attending vet, the traditional treatment with Albon must be given immediately -- treating with a double dose of Albon for 5 days instead of a double dose on day one followed by a 9 day single dose. Dogs of puppies who test positive for coccidia or giardia must have finished their medication two weeks prior to the transport date and have a clear stool sample. Puppies must be wormed at 7-day intervals with Strongid-T (no more than 4 doses over a 4-week period are necessary); however, puppies should not be wormed within 24 hours before departure. Puppies who have diarrhea, lethargy, are vomiting, or are not eating 1-3 days before transport should not be sent on transport.  Panacur, as a general wormer for a 3-day protocol, will increase the odds of a negative fecal exam. Each stool sample should be examined under a microscope, rather than using a float, to determine parasite loads. IDEXX snap tests are suggested to detect Giardia, as is sending out fecal samples to labs for testing.  

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 destination shelters. All known health issues should be indicated on the CanINE Express Health Check Form that veterinarians are required to complete at the same time the Health Certificate for Interstate Transport is issued. 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 cats and dogs have been selected by receiving shelters, they should be held for 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 can be adopted locally.  With very few exceptions, the receiving shelter partners agree to this because they are anxious for the dog to "go home" as soon as possible.   Five days prior to transport, (or on a date specified by Cathi Eagan in an email message), cats and dogs must be sent on transport, except in the case of illness or behavioral issues. If a cat or dog 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). If a dog is pulled after Cathi Eagan has given a date not to adopt a cat or dog out locally, the sending shelter will pay the "per dog/cat rate".   Please do not offer out a replacement to the receiving shelter when a cat or dog 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 all adult dogs prior to the arrival of the transport vehicles to ensure that the dogs can ride in comfort for 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. 

Sending shelters must 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.

Crate Sizes

Small:  21"Lx16"Wx15"H

Medium: 27"Lx20"Wx19"H

Intermediate: 32"Lx22"Wx23"H

Large: 36"Lx24"Wx26"H

X-Large: 40"Lx27"Wx30"H
Giant: 48"Lx32"Wx35"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 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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