Transport an Airedale

Why volunteer to transport?

ATRA covers 14 states plus the province of Ontario.  We work together when it comes to finding our rescue Airedales good homes.  Sometimes the best home is found in a state other than where the Airedale is being fostered.  Sometimes the Airedale needs surgery, training or special foster care to get ready for their new home.  Any of these reasons result in the need to move our Airedales to other states within our area.  That is a lot of territory to cover when it comes to transporting an Airedale! 

Transporting is a great way to give a small amount of your time without the long-term commitment needed to foster.  It is also a great way to combine assisting ATRA with activities you might not otherwise have done.  Take a friend with you and catch up on the latest news while helping ATRA do a transport.  Do some shopping in a long distance town after dropping off your Airedale.  Regardless of whatever else you might do along the way, you can be sure ATRA and the Airedale appreciate your support!

What do I need to transport?

You have taken the first step by indicating your desire to help!  Let’s go from here.

Of course you need to have a vehicle in order to help with a transport.  Usually it is best to transport an Airedale while it is in a crate, therefore the best vehicles are station wagons, SUVs or vans.  However, many of our transports are also done in cars and without crates.  Without a crate, you need to take a few extra precautions to keep the Airedale safe such as double leashing the dog to a seat belt in the back seat of the car.

What will the Airedale come with?

Usually the Airedale will not be transported with a crate.  Most of our volunteers who choose to transport with a crate already have one and use their own.  For those who do not have crates, we encourage you to put a blanket on the seat and tie the leash to a fastened seat belt.  If for some reason, the Airedale will be coming with a crate that needs to be passed on, we will let you know ahead of time to ensure you can accommodate the crate.

The Airedale should come with a leash and collar set and an ATRA tag.  If you are transporting an Airedale directly from a shelter or surrender situation, you may be required to bring a leash, collar and tag with you.  Contact your state coordinator to get a supply of these.  If you need to buy a leash and collar set, ATRA uses the Martingale-type collars.  Save the receipt and we will reimburse you for it.  Another thing to remember about the collar – if you are the person to put the collar on the dog, make sure that it is adjusted properly so the Airedale cannot back out of it and get loose.  Many times the Airedale will also come with a care package.  This might include some food, treats, toys, a blanket, bowls, etc.  You can put the dog’s blanket in the crate or on the seat, give them a toy or two and some treats to help ease the stress of the transport.

What about paperwork?

If you are picking up an Airedale from a shelter or surrender situation, you will be responsible for getting the required paperwork.  Shelters should have some release paperwork for you when you pick up the Airedale.  If you are meeting someone to handle a surrender, print out a copy of ATRA’s Rescue Release (available on the Web) in advance.  Have the person surrendering the dog fill it out as completely as possible and sign it.  Be sure to ask for any vet papers and get the name, address and phone of the vet who had been taking care of the Airedale.

If you are picking up an Airedale from a foster situation and transporting him to his new home, make sure you have all of the vet records and an ATRA Foster Home Report.  If the Placement Contract and donation has not been taken care of in advance, you may also have that paperwork to pass on as well.

As you hand off the dog to the next person on a transport, make sure the person has all of the paperwork.  If the last person is a new adopter and you need to handle the Placement Contract and donation, wait while the new family finishes filling out and signing the Placement Contract and gives you a check.  In this case, there should be an addressed, stamped envelope with two copies of the Placement Contract.  Leave one with the new adopter and put the other in the envelope along with the check and drop it in the mail yourself.  Please do not leave the envelope with the new adopter to handle.  As much as possible, the coordinators will try to handle the Placement Contract and donation ahead of time so that you don’t have to.

Will the Airedale ride well?

For the most part, the dog will ride just fine.  You must remember, however, that this is a stressful time for the Airedale.  He is meeting many new people along the way and he may not be used to riding for long distances.  If we know the Airedale is nervous, we may have a vet prescribe something to relax him for the trip.  A crate is a good choice for those Airedales who may be a little anxious.  In our experience, most Airedales will do just fine in a crate or on a blanket on the seat.

At each stop, let the Airedale out for a potty break.  Try to give them only small amounts of water or food along the way to help keep them from getting sick.

Can I bring my dog along?

Please plan on leaving your pets at home.  Again, remember this is a stressful time for an Airedale.  The confines of a vehicle are no place to find out that your dog and the Airedale do not get along.

What is the history of the Airedale?

Many people who help us transport want to know a little about the Airedale they are transporting.  Large Airedales may be tough to pick up if necessary to get them into a vehicle.  Older dogs may not be physically able to get into a vehicle.  Nervous dogs may need a crate and medication.  As much as possible, we will pass this information on to you.

Other people want to know about the Airedale’s history “just because”.  The transporter is a very important part of this Airedale’s new life and we will be happy tell you whatever we know.

Do I coordinate the transport?

There are some transports where you are the only person doing the driving.  In these cases, you may be given the phone numbers of the people on either end to coordinate times and locations. 

Longer-distance transports, however, are coordinated in advance by our Transportation Coordinator.  He or she will arrange times, obtain phone numbers, determine meeting locations and publish everything in advance to everyone concerned.

What distance will I have to drive?

This is your call.  We appreciate your help and will be happy with whatever driving you can do.

How often do I have to transport?

Again, this is up to you.  Our Transportation Coordinator may call on you several times in a short period if there are transports coming through your area.  We expect that you will help only when you can and let us know when you cannot.

What if no one is there to meet me?

When a transport is arranged, our Transportation Coordinator will make sure that everyone has each other’s cell phone numbers, if available.  Hopefully, you should be able to reach the next person on their cell phone.  You can also reach the Transportation Coordinator or a designated person who will be available during the time of the transport in case someone does not have a cell phone.

ATRA also gives volunteers window stickers to make it easy to recognize the next volunteer in a transport chain.

Can I be reimbursed?

ATRA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and as such we rely on the generosity of our supporters.  We hope as much as possible that you can donate the expenses of a transport.  If you would like, we can give you a letter to acknowledge your participation of a transport so that you have documentation come tax time. 

If you feel you need to be reimbursed in order to transport, we do understand.  We try as much as possible to use volunteers who are able to donate both their time and expenses.

Can I use my airplane?

ATRA has a few volunteers who have private airplanes and use them to transport Airedales.  If it works out to transport an Airedale by airplane, our Transportation Coordinator will help set this up just like a ground transport.  ATRA fully understands the need for the pilot to make a good weather decision and we will be prepared to make a back-up plan if things cannot happen on schedule.

A crate is a must for travel by private airplane.  Most 4-seat aircraft will handle a size 4 airline crate which is one size smaller than what we normally use for our Airedales.  You may have to break the crate down to get it in the airplane and then reassemble it.

Remember, if you decide to help ATRA transport an Airedale by private airplane, ATRA will not be able to reimburse you.  Federal Aviation Regulations prohibit a pilot from taking compensation for a flight unless they are operating “for hire.”  ATRA will be happy to give you a letter acknowledging the flight for your taxes.

How do I sign up?

Go to the "ATRA Committee Contacts" and contact the Transportation Coordinator.  They will be happy to hear from you and sign you up.


Click on the "Transport Pamphlet" below to get a pdf file of the discussion above on what it takes to transport an Airedale in a tri-fold format.

Transport Pamphlet