The Animal Rescue Corps arrived in Woodstock on Wednesday with 50 stray dogs from Palm Springs, Calif., that will be finding new homes in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The dogs left an overcrowded shelter in Palm Springs and have travelled all the way to the Maritimes in an RV to be adopted.
The RV stopped in Woodstock around 5 p.m. on Wednesday to drop off seven dogs that will be adopted in Carleton County.
"It's been a long drive but the animals have been great. We've worked very hard to keep on schedule and give them tons of care and attention every day," said Tim Woodward, the chief operations officer with the Animal Rescue Corps.
Scotlund Haisley, the president of the organization, said the cross-country trip required a lot of planning and it was not cheap.
"It's a $15,000 transport, each one. And this is the first of two transports. So it’s about a $30,000 rescue operation," he said.
Rescue groups and shelters in the Maritimes offered to find homes for 100 cats and dogs. Haisley said no one else in the United States stepped up to find homes for all of the stray animals.
"Otherwise, we'd go to Texas, Florida and you know we'd go all throughout the U.S., whereas this is much easier to just come to one place," he said.
Shannon Monteith, a New Brunswick veterinarian, organized the rescue of the seven dogs that were dropped off in Woodstock. She said animals leaving crowded shelters in big cities is starting to become a trend.
"A lot of the big centres, the big shelters, the kill shelters, that are being forced to euthanize just because of the volumes. They're trying to spread them out. They're trying to ship them out to smaller rescues that can find homes for them," she said.
But she said dogs aren't piling up in shelters in New Brunswick so there is room for more.
The Fredericton SPCA, for instance, is not filled to capacity and is currently home to 14 dogs.
Andrea Stone, an employee of the Fredericton SPCA, said the shelter could take in a few more dogs.
"We could probably take in at the most maybe 15 more. But when we have that many animals, it's hard because we don't have enough staff to take care of the animals," she said.
The Animal Rescue Corps will be arriving in Nova Scotia on Thursday. The next shipment of cats and dogs will be making its way to the Maritimes in two weeks.