I recently came across an organization called Operation Roger. Their description on their website states: “We are a rag-tag group of pet loving truckers who volunteer to help needy pets travel to their new homes and have a better chance at a fun filled life by giving them a hitchhike in the cabs of our trucks and a lot of TLC enroute. “This group of truck drivers have already impacted hundreds of smiling faces and their once baron homes. From the vision of one lone truck driver, Sue Wiese, aka ”Classy Lady,” has inspired an army of pet loving truck drivers, more than 80 to be more accurate, who share the same passion as Wiese.
Right from the beginning the program was developed to make a difference in the lives of hurt, abandoned or homeless animals, and right from the start countless stories of success crisscrossed America proving just how big of a difference this group of gear-shifting volunteers have made.
The overwhelming effects of Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005 was the motivation for Sue to start transporting pets via truck. As the devastation from the hurricane’s aftermath resonated throughout the media, Wiese recalls listening non-stop to the radio for updates while driving for hours each day. "I remember hearing about people refusing to evacuate areas without their pets,” she recalled. "People were being saved, while pets were being left behind,” Wiese added.
Hearing about Petfinder.com, a website that allows you to search adoptable pets and locate shelters and rescue groups, Wiese began researching about the prevalent issue. She quickly discovered that rescuing and transporting animals was already an everyday need, which only heightened after Hurricane Katrina.
Wiese found that the most common method of moving animals long distances involved individuals driving their own automobiles short sections of a long trip and then passing the animals off to another individual who continued the trip (repeating the process) until the animal reached its final destination. Wiese realized that as a truck driver, she could transport animals in much the same way but with a greater success rate. ”I was discussing this idea with my daughter, Tasha, and dear friend, Dellcina, when it hit me,” Wiese explains. ”I could transport the animals in my truck during daily routes, even if it meant only moving one at a time.”
Roger, a Toy Manchester Terrier was rescued and rode with Sue Wiese for over two years before crossing over the Rainbow Bridge.
Being an avid dog and pet lover, and a former professional driver; I think this is such an awesome idea and organization! Trucks are traveling all over the country. There are literally thousands of pets in animal shelters in America-many of whom will not find new homes and have to be euthanized. People all over the country are willing to adopt a lot of these unfortunate animals, but are far away in different states.
Truck drivers travel alone most of the time, unless they are in a team operation. Many are also avid animal lovers like me. Taking a pet along gives them companionship and company, and also a sense of fulfillment when they deliver more than “the load” to a destination. They are also delivering a new family member to a kind family or person that opened up their heart to adopt. Win-win situation!
Rayne was rescued from Ohio and transported to a new, safe home and a loving family in Georgia, with the help of Chris, a volunteer with Operation Roger.
Operation Roger continues to grow and reach out to additional pets in need, however, the ever growing financial demands and manpower necessary to meet these needs is increasing.
As pets currently in shelters all over the country await their safe transport to a new, welcoming home and with additional requests being posted every day, Wiese extends the invitation to all truck drivers who want to participate by saying: ”We are always on the lookout for dedicated truck drivers who simply have a heart for animals…that’s all it takes.”
If any there are any truck drivers who are interested in joining this great organization and are willing to transport a pet across the country, you can go online to: www.operationroger.com. They have an easy to use website with extensive information needed to become a part of the organization. There are also many stories of the pets that have found new homes because of these dedicated and caring drivers.