The Road to a Forever Home

Kim Strong, Better World Books’ Senior Logistics Specialist, volunteers using her Volunteer Time Off (VTO) and personal time to help dogs reach their forever home. She recently had the privilege of transporting Baxter while using her VTO and she’s sharing her experience:

Baxter, waiting to head to his forever home.
Baxter, waiting to head to his forever home.

I am the Senior Logistics Specialist for Better World Books for the past four years. During the day I arrange transport for books, at night and the weekends, I help arrange, recruit drivers, and even drive transports. There are a lot of rescues and transport groups out there. I noticed on Facebook someone had shared a picture of Zeke needing a ride from South Bend to Angola. That is all it took and seems like fifty dogs later, I have driven for such great groups as Echo White German Shepherd Rescue, Kindred Heart Transport (where I am a Transport Coordinator Assistant), Liberty Transport, Springer Spaniel Rescue and Homeward Bound. So I have recently volunteered as the Transport Coordinator for Homeward Bound in South Bend, IN for which several of us at Better World Books use our VTO to go out to the kennels, help walk, brush and just love on the dogs.

Recently, I had the chance to transport Baxter. Baxter was placed in January 2015 when he was just a puppy. His original owner had to return to Denmark to care for his sick mother, shortly after purchasing Baxter from a pet shop. He was placed with a family in Maryland and, unfortunately, he has been displaying some behavioral problems that they are unable to handle. We had him evaluated by a trainer who said that she feels he would be OK with an owner who can be firm (but kind) and diligent about training. Obviously, Baxter is what we call a “project dog” but we feel that he is salvageable if we can find the right environment for him.

In comes an adopter, Dillon Montana. The rescue reached out to Kindred Heart Transport for assistance. A Transport Coordinator (TC) established the route, and break points. Then the run is assigned to someone like myself, a TCA (transport coordinator assistant). We then go thru the data base calling people in the area to see whom is available that can help. Some people can only drive weekends, some can only drive week days, some can do both. There even some that have the ability to do an overnight slumber “pawty.” Usually, a long run is split up between two TCA. Once we confirm someone, we send their information to the Transport Coordinator. Once the run is filled, the TC emails out the run sheet to all the drivers. As a driver we then contact the person we are meeting and decide on a meet location. Some transport will give you a meet location others let you decide. Then you report back and that way the TC knows where everyone is meeting.

Baxter on his way home!
Baxter on his way home!

Now comes the awesome part after all this time and work into it Baxter hits the road to his forever home. During the transport we use Facebook to keep in touch Along the way, everyone posts pictures so everyone else can see how its going on the run. So for Kindred Heart once you have passed Baxter or any transport to the next person, they ask you to let them know you are home safely. Without even counting the time from the rescue, a lot goes into the transport to help get these deserving dogs from one end of the county to the other. The rewarding feeling is indescribable–to see the end result and know you helped him get there by being able to use VTO.

To learn more about Kindred Heart Transport Connection, visit them online at


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