Rochelle has been a volunteer with 4Paws for 4 years. She started off as a foster parent and then began working as a transportation volunteer. As a transporter, she helped by picking up or dropping off whatever was needed. She’s transported cats going to and from vet appointments, shelters and other rescues, food from various locations, and cages for barn cats. She then started picking up the cats that are flown in from Kuwait, Afghanistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia. This work was recently covered in the news!
When she waits for the cats that travel from overseas, she has to wait until the airport releases the cats from cargo — which is usually 15-35 cats!
Rochelle is not the only volunteer helping transport locally and from the airport. The latter is a multiple-person job. Some cats arrive with a flight parent (see photo below) to see they arrive safely.
Once the cats arrive at Dulles they are placed in clean carriers with food (all thanks to donations). The cats are either picked up by adopters and fosters or are transported to Last Chance Animal Rescue in Maryland.
To Rochelle, seeing the cats arrive and seeing that they are safe from a life on the streets is so rewarding. She wants people to know that taking these cats from other countries does not take away from stray cats here. This is because most cats that come to America are “exotic” breeds that attract people who would otherwise go to a breeder.
4Paws is always in need of transporters in all areas (Maryland, DC, Virginia). Whether it’s for moving cats, food, cages, or for airport pickups – they can be a lifeline for a cat and a rescue/shelter. Requests are flexible to fit the volunteer’s schedule. In the words of Rochelle:
“I urge anyone that can help in any area of transport, to please do so! You don’t need a big SUV. Even if you have a small car and can donate an hour a week to pick up or drop off within a 25-mile radius, you will be helping so much!”
If you are interested in becoming a transporter in ANY capacity, please let us know. You can email us at [email protected] and fill out this volunteer application if you haven’t done so previously. You can also help by donating cat carriers and supplies.