What it takes to transport rescue animals from the Midlands to other states


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Distance is irrelevant when it comes to having a meaningful impact at Final Victory Animal Rescue, where they bring dogs to the surrounding community and span their efforts nationwide.
WIS News 10 got an inside look at how the non-profit rescue gets their animals from point A, to point B despite how many miles may lie in between.
”It’s not as much seeing the dogs go off. It’s the ability to bring in more and help more,” General Manager of Final Victory Animal Rescue Michael Sniezek said.
How does that one special pet find its way into your life and into your home?
For some, it’s not always as simple as walking into your local shelter. You have to look far and wide for that perfect fit — and that’s where these guys come in.
”It’s kind of our biggest day of the week, it’s our transport day,” Sniezek said. “We have adoptions all throughout the week, local adopters, but our out of state adopters is where we get most of our adoptions.”
The team at Final Victory Animal Rescue is based in West Columbia, but their reach goes far beyond the Midlands.
About 80% of the adoptions they see come from outside of South Carolina.
So, how do these dogs get to their new homes?
That question gets answered on the rescue’s “Transport Day”.
”Usually we go all the way to Maine, about and hour away from Canada,” said Noah Pall from Turbo Tails. “Pretty much all the way, as far as you can go up the East Coast.”
A trip all up and down the east coast just to make sure that these dogs have a guaranteed pathway to their forever home.
Though the transport process happens all within a weekend, the preparation is thorough to ensure that all loose ends are tied up on Final Victory’s end.
”Then once they say ‘Yes I love that dog, I want to adopt it,’ I send up the adoption contract at the beginning of the week,” Sniezek said. “With that contract we send about 10 different articles and readings about helping the dogs settle in, how transportation works, what to expect for the first couple days, weeks, months. As much information as possible to make sure the dog is going to have a good basis and foundation at the time of pickup.”
Once the adoption is finalized, medical records are in place, and transportation is confirmed Turbo Tails rolls their van in to get these pups ready for their road trip.
”We usually leave on Friday and we’ll be back on Sunday evening,” Pall said.
A nonstop journey to get all these dogs in their homes — and it all starts right here.
Each dog that hops onto this van is headed to their own spot, each with a new adventure ahead of them.
Some pups are full of excitement and hop on with no problem. Others are naturally a little skittish when entering this big van that’s unfamiliar to them.
However, the team at the pet transportation company Turbo Tails makes sure the ride is as smooth as possible.
”I know especially because it’s dark and there’s a lot of noise in there, it can get a little overwhelming for them,” Pall said. “But, they are a little bit nervous at first but once we get going, they calm down, plus we have calming treats for them.”
For some of these dogs, they may have found their way to Final Victory a week before they were adopted.
For others, shelter life is all they’ve ever known.
Regardless of that amount of time, this is the first step in the rest of these animals’ lives.
So, the team wants to make sure these dogs are looking and feeling their best when they head off.
”Everybody got a good bath this morning, a good blow dry, we checked their nails and ears. Making sure they’re looking good and feeling good,” Sniezek said.
Seeing these dogs at their best, on their way to their new homes is all good and fun, but none of it would be possible without the partnership.
These transporters play such a key role that often go unnoticed by many who are looking to adopt.
”Without it, we wouldn’t be able to move half, three quarters of our dogs, we wouldn’t be able to get up,” Sniezek said. “As you guys saw, we bring our dogs out with their packets, the dogs get loaded on and then they take off like they did.”
As for the transporters, the miles driven, the hours it takes, means next to nothing when they recognize the impact of their work.
”There’s just so many that need homes and instead of going to a breeder, you can just get so many nice dogs that have just been thrown away,” Pall said.
Every animal deserves their second chance and that’s what this team devotes their lives to giving them — despite how far away that second chance may live.
”I always say the cliché, ‘That’s my favorite part,’” Pall said. “Seeing them, their happy ending, just knowing going to a good home. They’re always excited and happy to see them. That’s definitely my favorite part.”
The connection doesn’t just end at drop off.
Sniezek said he’s seen a lot of these dogs grow with him, so he’ll get those reassuring updates from these now happy families.
”I get texts that say, ‘We’re home!’ and we get a picture of them and it’s really great. It’s fun to build the community.”
A second chance at life, happiness and that forever home that these dogs deserve.
Miles don’t matter when the end result looks as happy as this.
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