Ann Arbor, MI (July 22, 2016) – Some pets are condemned to death, simply because of where they were born.RW pup

Transportation programs like PetSmart Charities’ Rescue Waggin’ help by moving animals from shelters with overpopulation and high euthanasia rates to shelters like the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) with high save rates and high adoption rates.

“The Rescue Waggin’ has become a Welcome Waggin’ in Washtenaw County, with volunteers’ arms outstretched to embrace the puppies and dogs who’ve been saved, and with adopters often standing in line for one, in hopes of making their families complete,” says Krista Donohoo, HSHV’s Adoptions Manager.

PetSmart Charities recently announced that they’d be discontinuing the Rescue Waggin’ program, effective July 31, 2016.

“Obviously, this came as a shock to us,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s President and CEO. “HSHV has participated in Rescue Waggin’ for about eight years. With the help of our hardworking staff and volunteers, and commitment from our Board of Directors, hundreds upon hundreds of innocent puppies and dogs have been saved, and just as many happy families made. Though it’s a lot of hard work, we have always considered the program a great success—and an important part of our life-saving mission, enthusiastically embraced by the community. While we remain steadfast in our commitment to our community’s homeless and abused animals, we know that as a high performing organization we have the ability to help other animals in need.”

This fall, HSHV will be starting their own transportation program dubbed “The Love Train.”

“We receive requests from overrun shelters on a weekly, sometimes daily basis—shelters tragically faced with euthanizing perfectly adoptable animals,” says Karie McMahon, HSHV’s Intake Manager. “The Love Train will not only adopt out animals in need from struggling communities, but also will provide our community with a variety of animals. For instance, in some places, there are surpluses of small dogs—while here, we have people waiting for them.”

HSHV received a grant from PetSmart Charities to cover a large portion of the start-up costs for The Love Train. Unlike the Rescue Waggin’, the Love Train will transport animals from not only other states, but also within Michigan communities as well.

“The situation for so many animals is still dire.  The shelters we work with are filled with caring people desperate to find ways to avoid needless euthanasia. Struggling shelters regularly reach out to us, and we help advise them on best practices including spay/neuter programs.  HSHV’s Love Train will be another part of our ongoing collaborative effort to support them. Our goal is to reduce needless suffering of homeless animals wherever they may be, says Matthew Schaecher, HSHV’s COO.

McMahon sums it up. “The compassion people in our community have for animals knows no boundaries.”


About The Humane Society of Huron Valley:

The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies solely on the generosity of our supporters to provide critical community programs and services. HSHV is an award-winning organization, recognized for our best practices and highest animal “save-rate” among all similar shelters in Michigan. Charity Navigator, the nation’s top charity evaluator, awarded HSHV a 4-star ranking, the highest possible. The mission of HSHV is to promote the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community. HSHV is not affiliated with any other humane organization and does not receive funding from the United Way. More information can be found on HSHV’s website ( and on our annual report (