Volunteer Transporters Drive Hundreds of Miles to Save Animals

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COLUMBIA - Volunteer transporter Sara Chasnoff never would have known about FuManChu's transport without the help of Facebook. 

FuManChu is a Persian cat with a serious litter box aversion - so bad that his owner needed to find a rescue center to help. The Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue in Kenosha Wis. would be able to help solve the problem and put him up
for adoption again. If he could get there.

Imagine Home, a feline advocacy agency, organized FuManChu's transport and found volunteers completely via Facebook.

Chasnoff has always loved cats and been interested in helping animals. When Imagine Home showed up as a suggestion on her Facebook newsfeed, she was immediately interested.

"I clicked on it, and I see them tell the stories of the cats and people sign up," Chasnoff said. "I thought, you know, that's something I could do."

FuManChu needed to be transported from Emmett, Kan., to a rescue center in Kenosha, Wis., - a journey totaling 710 miles. The two-day trip was separated into seven legs, and each transporter traveled about 100 miles. Chasnoff drove the third leg of FuManChu's trip -- from Columbia to St. Louis.

The entire journey was made possible by transporters who each volunteered to drive a leg, and communicated through Facebook.

"It's amazing," Chasnoff said. "This whole social networking thing really opened up a lot of doors."

While social media plays a significant role in Imagine Home's transport operations, they are not the only organization that uses Facebook to find volunteers. The Foster and Rescue Program at the Central Missouri Humane Society is constantly looking for volunteers to drive on transports.

"We put it on Facebook, we try to put it on our website, we try to advertise it as much as possible," Foster and Rescue Coordinator Jennifer Romesburg said.

Social media has a positive impact on all aspects of animal facilities, Romesburg said.

"We have 10,000 likes on our Facebook page," Romesburg said. "So in one click of a button, 10,000 people now know what we need or what's going on."