Nine dogs from the humane society shelter in Thunder Bay started a long road trip Thursday morning, as they are transported by van to shelters in southern Ontario.

The chair of the humane society board said the dogs have a better chance of finding homes in a larger centre.

"The humane societies down there are empty of dogs,” Judy Decicco said.

'We'd love to make sure that animals get into a home.' - Judy Decicco, Thunder Bay Humane Society Board chair.

"People aren't necessarily looking for an older dog up here. But, in the south, with the larger urban population, there's a variety of needs … a lot of people like to get older dogs, or dogs with medical issues."

If the transfer works out, she hopes more dogs can be sent to southern Ontario shelters, Decicco said.

"If the OSPCA can help us again, we'd love to make sure that animals get into a home, rather than sitting in a shelter."

Decicco said prospective owners in the south have already expressed interest in some of the dogs.

She said she hopes they all find a home, but the ones that don't will continue to be cared for. She said this group of dogs has waited to be adopted for months without success.

The dogs will first go to Newmarket, and then be sent to other shelters. The move will also free up kennel space in Thunder Bay for other dogs coming in.