Tip of the Week: Playing Tag
For the inaugural run of our Long Distance Transport Pilot Project from Louisiana to New Jersey in April, the ASPCA hired Loving Friends Transport (LFT) to safely move 43 Southern dogs to their new homes in the Northeast.
When LFT arrived, everything about their transport rig was impressive, but what stood out were the little clip-on tags hanging off the cages. Each tag was engraved with a number – the same number engraved on permanent tags affixed to the cages themselves.
How they work:
When dogs are loaded at a source shelter, the number of the cage they’re placed in is often written on their paperwork. It helps ensure that if they chew up or lose their ID collar during the ride, you can still properly identify the dog when he arrives at the destination. But what if multiple volunteers are walking dogs at points along the ride? Sometimes it’s hard to be absolutely certain that the right dog is returned to the right cage. Until NOW.
By creating these clip-on tags, volunteers or staff walking dogs can take the cage number with them on their walks, affixing it to the leash, their belt loop, etc. When the dog is returned to his cage after the break, one of two things can happen:
1. If there is another way of tracking who has/hasn’t been walked (a checklist, etc.), tags can be affixed back on to the cage, OR
2. The tags can be used as a tracking system! After walking a dog, the dog is placed back into the correct cage (check the tag!) and then the tag is put in a bucket. Other volunteers will see that the cage is missing a tag, which indicates that the dog has already been walked, and they should choose a different dog. When no tags remain hanging, all dogs have been walked. Before getting on the road again, a volunteer can clip all the tags back on to the matching cage so they’re ready for the next stop.
Tags are also useful when multiple people are unloading at the destination. They offer another way to ensure that paperwork is matched to the correct dog at check-in.
Tag, you’re it – your turn to share what’s worked for you. How do you ensure that the dogs you are transporting are properly identified at their destination?
Meet you here next Monday for more tips we’ve gleaned and seen that may make your life a little easier, make a routine process go a little faster or deliver some extra comfort for the animals in your care.