On a Tuesday morning in a former performance hall in the Heights, a few hundred dogs and cats are getting ready for a 19-hour drive to Colorado. Former residents of the city's continually overcrowded pound, BARC, the animals were pulled and placed in foster homes by a rescue group called Rescued Pets Movement.
The group formed in 2013 and has transported more than 4,300 homeless animals to a network of rescue groups in Colorado, a state that imported more than 17,000 dogs from across the country in 2013. (A small number of animals are transferred to rescue groups in Utah and Wyoming as well.) The animals are loaded into four new vans tricked out with climate-control systems to keep the animals comfortable on their long journey. One of the group's co-founders, Cindy Perini, says each vehicle is personally financed by an individual board member.