Hendricks Superior Magistrate Judge Tammy Somers recently took a weekend road trip that saved 60 dogs – animals that otherwise may have been euthanized.
Somers joined CanINE Express, an organization that last month sent a convoy of three vans carrying dogs to New England, where they found new homes.
“When we dropped our puppies off in Vermont, the shelter director said the animals all will be adopted by next week, and it was really emotional,” Somers said. “These are animals that most likely would have been euthanized if they had stayed here in Indianapolis.”
Somers explained that states such as New Hampshire and Vermont have stricter dog and cat sterilization laws, so shelters there are more easily able to find adoptive homes for pets.
In this case, the animals that had been linked to new homes through petfinder.com included a number of beagle puppies. “They talk,” Somers said of her chatty companions during a roughly 18-hour transit.
The animals were taken from the Humane Society of Indianapolis to the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Stratham, N.H., and to North Country Animal League in Morrisville, Vt.
Somers has been involved in animal rescue efforts for years, dating to the 1990s when she worked in the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.
About every other weekend, Somers volunteers with local groups that transport rescue animals, such as Cruisin’ Critters Transports and Rescue Railroad. Other weekends she volunteers at the Indianapolis Zoo.
She said the fact that volunteers have to save animals by transporting them to states where tighter laws are on the books shows that Indiana could be saving money and animal lives if stricter laws were in place. “It’s a little disappointing,” she said.
Somers’ journey to New England was her first long-distance delivery, but it’s unlikely her last.
“To see people so happy and excited, it’s really rewarding to be involved,” she said.•