To most people, getting a new car means a huge financial commitment and a exciting shiny toy to play with and show off.
To the Seattle Humane Society, it means saving hundreds of shelter animals a year.
Yesterday, SHS's newest vehicles were put to the test for the first time, bringing back more than 20 rescued pets from an overcrowded Eastern Washington shelter.
"In the past we've used regulars trucks and vans to transport the animals," said Seattle Humane CEO David Loewe. "To now have high tech, top of the line vehicles that we can safely and efficiently move them with? That is huge for us."
The vehicles are named "Chelsey's Rescue Rider" and "Hammy & Henry's Hero Waggin'" in honor of the leading donor's pets, and are covered with the mugs of other donor animals as well. The only way these vehicles exist is in thanks to the donations from the Tuxes and Tails fundraiser event last year, where SHS raised almost $1.6 million.
"We used to not really be able to make rescue trips in the summers or winters, simply because the temperatures wouldn't allow us to safely have animals in cars for long amounts of time," said Rhonda Manville, VP of Marketing.
Both new vehicles are equipped with proper heating and cooling systems, and Chelsey's Rescue Rider can move up to 70 animals at a time. Due to it's larger size, it will be taking the longer rescue trips to Eastern Washington and even as far away as Los Angeles to pick up animals from shelters who need help.
Hammy & Henry's Rescue Waggin' will be used locally and can transport up to 20 pets at a time.
This first rescue shown in the gallery was from an eastern Washington shelter who couldn't handle the overload. SHS is taking the animals in, putting them through thorough medical examinations, and then putting them up for adoption.
If you see someone you like in the gallery, call SHS or check out their website to visit!