My partner and I are about to embark on a road trip ourselves this week, but it's probably not going to be nearly as philanthropic as the one Rick Haugen took earlier this month.
Haugen, who owns an insurance company, loaded up a van with 37 dogs and a cat at 6 am to drive them to their next destination on their way to their new homes.
Why did he do this? Well, he was volunteering with a group that deals with Alabama's "surplus of rescued dogs and cats" called Alabama Rescue Relay.
The organization rescues animals from high kill shelters and has volunteers who take turns driving them in segments to other rescue groups in other states.
He drove the animals from Chicago to Wisconsin, where he handed them off to the next driver.
It sounds like he had an awesome first trip.
Just look at how cute these little guys are!
Haugen told Buzzfeed this was the most "rewarding" volunteer experience he has had so far.
He definitely plans on continuing to work with animal rescue groups.
[I] wanted to get them to their shelters as quickly as possible [...] They were incredibly well-behaved and only caused commotion when I stopped the van.
Transporting animals to shelters that have room for them is a huge help.
AAR's site says,
If this surplus of dogs and cats within Alabama were not shipped to other states, the various shelters would have no other choice but to put down these animals.
The organization also has animals in need of adoption transported to Alabama airports, so the pilots of Pilots N Paws can fly them to other states.
This just seems like such an awesome way to combine three great pastimes: road trips, volunteering and cute animals.
Apparently, all you need to do to be eligible for this type of volunteering is to have the availability, appropriately sized crates for the animals and a big enough car to transport them.
Each driver has to do a "leg" of the trip, which is around 100 miles or one and a half hours. Of course, they can drive farther than that if they want.
I think my heart has melted enough for one day.