Thank you for your interest in driving one of the transport vans for the CanINE Express Transport Project! You can "virtually" ride on the CanINE Express by clinking on the following youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VLw74gRnGg
Requirements for Drivers:
You must be 25 years or older and have a good driving record to drive one of the cargo vans from Enterprise Rent a Car (1601 N. College Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana). Enterprise Rental Car requirement: No smoking allowed in cargo vans.
If you live in the Indianapolis area, we will try our best to have you pick up your van from one of the Indianapolis Enterprise Rent a Car locations. However, it may be necessary for you to come to Bloomington on Thursday morning to pick up your van and to return it to this location on Sunday after the transport. The address for Enterprise Rental Car Bloomington office is: 1601 N. College Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana.
If you are new driver on our transport, you will need to fax a copy of your driver's license to Enterprise Rent a Car (812-336-6844 fax number) a few days prior to the transport date. Be sure to mention on the faxed copy that you will be a driver for the CanINE Express Transport Project.
We receive 3,000 unlimited miles from Enterprise Rent a Car which is plenty to make the 2,200 round trip to New England and back to Indiana. You are welcome to drive more than the 3,000 miles, but anything over the 3,000 miles will have to be paid by, you, the driver. The vans must be back on the Enterprise Rental Car lot in Bloomington by 2:00 p.m. on the 4th day (the Sunday following transport deliveries).
What to Bring:
Be prepared for any type of weather. Bring rain gear and warm clothing. Bring a pillow and a blanket so you can get some sleep while your driving partner is driving. It’s important that you pace yourself for the overnight drive.
Feel free to bring a cooler for food and snacks along the way. There isn’t a lot of room in the vans after the crates are loaded, so you should keep your suitcases/gear to a minimum. The vans have a radio, but no CD or tape player. So, if you want to listen to something other than the radio, bring a walkman or a good book!
Picking up Vans:
A cargo van will be reserved for you at Enterprise Rent a Car. Be sure to bring your driver’s license when you pick up the van; Enterprise will take a copy of it for their records. We purchase insurance that completely covers any damage to the Enterprise Rental Car van and other vehicles that may be involved. Also, please check with your own automobile insurance company to make sure they will cover any damages to any other vehicle/property damaged in the unlikely event of an accident.
You may leave your own vehicle at Enterprise Rent a Car in Bloomingtonwhile you are gone on the transport – it is a perfectly safe area. I’ve left my own vehicle on their lot without mishap for the past 8 years while I’m on transport.
Funds provided for Gasoline/Road Tolls:
I will place a notebook in your van that contains cash to be used for gasoline and road tolls. You will need to save all receipts for gasoline and road tolls going to and coming back from New England. At the end of the trip, you will need to leave the notebook in the van that contains receipts and remaining cash that equals the amount given to you. I will need the original receipts in order for the New England shelters to reimburse me for the expenditures (I pay out of pocket for these expenses and then am reimbursed about 2-3 weeks after each transport). All of the shelters in the project are not-for-profit organizations that depend solely on private donations. Therefore, I always stop for gasoline at the cheapest places to keep the expenses as low as possible for the New England shelters.
Volunteer drivers are asked to pay for their own hotel and meal expenses. Again, all of the participating shelters are dependent on private donations – so by us providing our own expenses for room/meals, we are helping to keep the price of the transport low for the New England shelters. I can usually find hotels in the area for $59-$75 per night throughout New England.
While on the Transport:
Each van will have a walkie-talkie so we can keep in touch with one another when we need to stop for breaks. Each van will have a map of our route. Each van will have a cleaning pail with paper towels, disinfectant, rubber gloves, and trash bags for clean-ups along the way. Each van will have slip leads for walking dogs and bungie cords to secure the dog crates. Each van will have bags of clean bedding for the dogs.
For those of you who have never been on a transport, most dogs settle down and you don't hear any barking once you're on the road. It's actually very quiet and peaceful until you stop for gasoline or to stop to pay road tolls. NOTE: Research studies have shown that animals become very peaceful and stress-free when listening to classical or country western music. I listen to FM classical music and most trips the the dogs in my van are always very quiet and seem quite peaceful. At night to keep me awake, I listen to AM Talk Radio and the dogs seem to sleep well to the low chatter of human voices.
If the weather is clear of snow, we travel the Interstate 90 New York Route to New England:
The route , once you leave Indianapolis, will be driving east on Interstate 70 to Columbus, Ohio. Take 270 north (the loop around the city) to Interstate 71 towards Cleveland. Once around Cleveland, we take the 271 loop north to Interstate 90 (eastbound). Interstate 90 will take us across the top of Ohio, Penn, and all the way across New York State and into Massachusetts. We stay on 90 until the outside loop around Boston (495).
If the weather prediction is snow, we travel the Interstate 70/76 Pennsylvania Turnpike Route to New England:
The route, once you leave Indiana, will be driving east on Interstate 70 across Ohio and into Pennsylvania. Once an hour in Pennsylvania, 70 becomes the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76). We stay on 70/76 until Carlile, Pennsylvania (close to Harrisburg) where we take Interestate 81 north to Scranton, Pennsylvania. At Scranton, we travel east on Interstate 84 through New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. We stay on 84 (driving northeast) until we reach the Mass Pike (Interstate 90) and continue head east. From that point, we are 20 minutes from Interstate 495 around Boston.
Either route takes 16 hours driving time. This does not include the time that we stop to walk, water, and feed the dogs.
Stops for the Dogs:
We walk all the dogs twice on the transport -- once around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon (at the Cleveland Animal Protective League) and again on Friday morning around 7:00 or 8:00 a.m. at the first shelter. When we stop to walk the dogs, we work as a team on each van. Some volunteers clean soiled bedding, some put water/food inside each dog’s crate, and some walk the dogs (leads provided). We switch jobs when we get tired. Walking the dogs usually takes 2 hours for the stop in Cleveland and about 1 hour at the first shelter stop in New England. This is where warm clothing and rain gear comes in handy – depending on the weather! When we go the New York route, we have 15-20 volunteers from the Cleveland Animal Protective League who come join us in the Cleveland area to help us walk the dogs.
Walking/Watering/Feeding Transport Dogs
at the Cleveland APL
1. Once vans arrive at the Cleveland APL (CAPL) between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. on transport Thursday , we will only work on two vans at a time to walk/water/feed the transport dogs. The first two vans that will be prepped will have signs on their side and back doors that say “VAN TO BE PREPPED.” After the first two are finished, the signed will be re-affixed on the last two vans.
Once arriving at the Cleveland APL, drivers should place the following items outside of their van: clean towels, cleaning pail, stickers, and slip leads. Drivers work along with volunteers to help clean, provide water/food, or walk the dogs until all vans have been prepped.
While the other two van drivers are waiting on their vans to be processed, drivers should open the front, side, and back doors of the vans to provide adequate ventilation to the. In the case of extremely hot weather, the doors should remain closed, the motor/air-conditioning should continue running. Or, in extremely cold weather, the motor/heater should continue running.
2. Once volunteers arrive at the CAPL, the van driver should ask if volunteers would like to: 1) walk dogs, 2) clean cages; 3) hold young puppies; or 4) put food/water inside the crates.
Working in teams, each van should have
• 2 volunteers to clean (one working in the front of the van and one in the rear);
• 2 volunteers to place food and water inside the crates (one working in the front of the van and one in the rear);
• 2 volunteers to hold young pups; and
• Multiple volunteers to walk the dogs.
3. For drivers/volunteers who are walking dogs: Please remember the dog’s name when taking him/her from the crate for a walk. Dogs should be placed in a slip lead when walked to assure that the dog does not get away during the walk. Most dogs won’t poop during a walk, since they have done this earlier in the morning and haven’t had any food all day. After the dog has urinated and stretched his/her legs, you can bring the dog back to be returned to his/her van.
4. For drivers/volunteers who are holding young puppies: To avoid young puppies picking up parvo virus from the ground, pups younger than 4 months should not be walked or placed on the ground. Young pups should be held while other volunteers are cleaning and placing food/water inside the crates.
5. For drivers/volunteers who are cleaning crates: You will find black garbage bags for trash and dirty towels, cleaner, paper towels, and plastic gloves inside of a yellow “cleaning” pail. Each van also white plastic bags filled with clean bedding. Volunteers only need to change the bedding of crates that have wet or soiled bedding. Badly soiled towels, should be thrown away in the trash. Towels that are not badly soiled should be placed in the black trash bags so they later can be laundered.
6. For drivers/volunteers who are feeding/watering the dogs: You will find bowls/water pails, water, and adult/puppy food in each van. Most dogs will not drink or eat when outside of their crates; so, please place a handful or two of food inside the crate after it has been cleaned. So that each dog will have access to water for the overnight trip, please place a bowl of water inside the crate or a water bottle refilled and affixed to the crate door once the dog has returned from his/her walk. A colored sticker should be placed on the crate to signify that that dog has been walked/watered/fed.
7. Note to All: Dogs should not be switched out from the crate they are in to another crate. By doing this, it may be possible to transfer any infection that a dog might have to another dog. Before leaving Indiana, dogs receive a vet health check, but at times dogs come down with an upper respiratory infection during the transport that is very contagious to other dogs.
Working in teams on two vans at a time, it should only take 30 minutes or less to walk/water/feed the dogs in each van.
Delivering Dogs on Friday Morning:
Once we arrive in New England on Friday morning, we split up and be driving to separate shelters. For example, a van driver will take dogs to New Hampshire SPCA (Stratham, New Hampshire that is 45 minutes from Boston and 10 minutes for Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the coast). The driver taking this route may have a second delivery at either Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk, Maine or Animal Refuge League outside Portland, Maine. The driver taking this route is usually finished around 1:00 p.m. on Friday.
Another example is that the driver takes dogs to New Hampshire Humane in Laconia, New Hampshire, approximately 2.5 hours north of Boston. The driver is usually finished around noon on Friday.
Another route is that the driver takes dogs to the North Country Animal League in Morrisville, Vermont (close to Stowe in ski country) and then to Frontier Animal Shelter in Orleand, Vermont which is 16 miles from the Canadian border. I usually take this route since I don’t finish until around 4:00 p.m. on Friday. Of course, I’m always willing to let another driver take this route if they would like to see that particular area of Vermont.
Once you arrive at your first shelter on Friday morning, all dogs should be walked/watered/fed and dirty bedding changed.
If you decide to break down crates after the deliveries, please do not take the tape with the dog's name off the crate, place the crate door between the crate bottom and top.
Returning Vans to Enterprise Rent a Car:
After your delivery, you're welcome to travel any place you like throughout New England. However, you will need to pay for the gasoline/tolls over the amount of gasoline that it takes to drive from Indiana and the New England shelter(s) where you make your deliveries – the New England shelters will only reimburse me for gasoline/tolls from Indiana to their shelters. The money given to you on Thursday morning will cover the gasoline and road tolls from Indiana to the shelter(s) where you will be delivering dogs -- including filling the gasoline tank to the same level as when you picked up the van at Enterprise Rental Car on Saturday or Sunday, whenever you return.
Vans need to be returned to Enterprise Rent a Car in Bloomington, Indiana no later than 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
While it’s a tiring trip, I’m sure you will find it one of the most worthwhile efforts you have undertaken. You will be helping to save the lives of Indiana shelter dogs by going on this trip!
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. And, thank you so very much!
Cathi L. Eagan, CanINE Express Transport Project