PROD volunteers drive dogs to safety

June 18, 2005

It’s a warm summer day in June, and while most people would be out enjoying the sunny weather, Phil Chadwick is driving to Vancouver, Wash., with a van full of dogs.

Chadwick is a transporter for Promoting Responsible Ownership of Dogs, more commonly known as PROD. In this capacity, he gives his time to transport homeless dogs from Hood River to the Southwest Washington Humane Society.

Because there is currently no animal adoption program in Hood River, PROD has been in contact with SWHS to accept adoptable strays.

“The Humane Society has very strict criteria,” said Casey DePriest, Animal Control Officer for Hood River. “The dogs have to pass a temperament test before they are accepted. They won’t take dogs that are aggressive toward people or other dogs.”

But even before the dogs pass their temperament test, they must wait — PROD only sends animals when SWHS extends an invitation when they have an opening. “No animals will lose their lives because of our arrangement,” said PROD in their latest newsletter.

Once the animals are ready to go, the next challenge is getting them to Vancouver. This is where people like Chadwick come in.

Wednesday marked Chadwick’s fifth transport in three months for PROD. “PROD is really the humane society in town,” said Chadwick as he prepared Solomon, a one-year-old Vizsla/lab mix for transport. “There’s no other entity that helps lost, stray or abandoned dogs.”

Along with Solomon, there was also a five-month-old Chihuahua and a litter of seven 10-week-old puppies that Chadwick also ported. “My other transports have been one dog or two dogs,” he said. “But this is a big load.”

Chadwick is one of about five drivers that PROD currently has, but he’s a regular. “Phil’s pretty much a staple,” said DePriest. But even with his complete dedication, more volunteers are still needed.

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