We first learned about the Underground Railroad Rescued Kitty Network (URRKN) after Sylviag shared her volunteer experience with us through this post. We love the story behind this organization and its mission “to aid in the safe transport of rescued cats from foster to forever homes”. With help from Sylviag we reached out to URRKN Transport Director, Kelly (PussKitty), for more information.
Here’s what PussKitty told us:
The URRKN was founded by Tina LaBlanc on October 31, 2011. She was inspired by the tragedy of Jack the Cat. She had a similar experience with her beloved Pandy many years ago. Luckily, Pandy was found in just a few days. So there had to be a solution; safe transportation to get kitties home. Hence, URRKN was born.
To date we have transported 40 kitties for a total of 20,694 miles. Many of our VIPs (Very Important Passengers) are shelter kitties, but they are vetted and have been in foster care before “riding the rails”. We aren’t yet big enough to do “urgent” transports, so we can’t do the shelter pick-ups yet, but we’re getting there. There’s also the matter of making sure our VIPs are healthy enough to travel and have been spayed or neutered. We only transport to forever homes.
Our Conductors (transporters) have found us mainly through our Facebook page. There are many ways you can get involved, so if you’re interested in volunteering for URRKN please join our Facebook group! All Conductors are required to sign a waiver and a “Conductors Code of Conduct”. We also require a copy of their driver’s license, proof of current auto insurance, and an emergency contact person (just in case). We love and protect our Conductors as much as our VIPs. Only a fraction of our members are now active Conductors. The rest cheer us on and help by sharing our story and upcoming transport events. All of our members play a role, each of them equally important.
We are an all volunteer group. The admins and transport coordinators give freely of their time. Our Conductors also give freely of their time and donate their gas money to help safely transport our VIPs home. In fact, I think most of our VIPs probably get home with a few more toys and treats than they had when they got on the road! They are certainly well loved and cared for during their journey home. Home—what a special word that is to a second chance kitty.
Our mission: Get kitties safely home.
Our vision: Global
For the kitties,
URRKN Transport Director