Homeless Utah dogs head to Colo.

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Twenty dogs from Salt Lake County are en route to Boulder, Colo. The animals were picked up early Tuesday morning, and the trip on the "Rescue Waggin'" will save their lives.

The Rescue Waggin' program was created to help save the lives of homeless dogs and puppies by transporting them from areas of high pet population, where they face euthanasia, to shelters where adoptable dogs are in demand.

Homeless Utah dogs head to Colo.

The program takes dogs from Utah because there are too many homeless dogs here and not enough people who want to adopt them. But that's not the case in Boulder.

April Harris of Salt Lake County Animal Services said, "It's actually a wagon that shows up and picks up anywhere from 30 dogs twice a month."

Animal services has teamed with Rescue Waggin' to take the animals to a neighboring state since last spring.

Harris said, "The reason they go to Boulder is because they have many people who neuter their pets. So they don't have enough puppies for the amount of homes for the people who are adopting."

Testing a dog for aggressiveness
Testing a dog for aggressiveness

More than 200 dogs have been saved by going to Colorado, but not every dog gets to take a ride on the wagon.

"They need to pass behavior assessments, be good with family. They also have to go through a medical evaluation," Harris explained.

The dog shouldn't growl, bark or bite if you touch its food or touch it while it's eating.

"We look at the ears, teeth, paws, whole body to make sure she's not going to bite. That's how we know she's a good candidate for the rescue wagon," Harris said.

If you would like to help but can't commit to adopting a dog, the shelter needs people to foster the Rescue Waggin' dogs for a week before they go. The shelter will provide the food and vet care. If you're interested, go to the Salt Lake County Animal Services Web site.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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Amanda Butterfield


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