Truckers have a precious new cargo these days: Rescued pets.

Thanks to an organization called Operation Roger, a growing number of big-rig truckers are helping rescued animals get to new homes. While they’re at it, these truckers are putting a dent in the estimated 4 million stray or unwanted animals that would otherwise be put to sleep each year.

Sue Wiese is a former truck driver who founded Operation Roger. She says her original goal was to help relocate pets left stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, but today, her network of volunteer truckers covers all of North America! And while most of the animals they rescue are dogs and cats, we’ve also read about truckers driving with rabbits, ferrets, lizards, and even pigs.

The way it works is simple: First, you get in touch with an animal rescue or shelter to find a pet you want to adopt, just as you normally would. Then, if the shelter happens to be located in a different city or state, they’ll call Operation Rescue to see if there’s a trucker available in the area.

Wiese says most of the truckers stick to transporting pets along their normal delivery routes, but some will drive hundreds of miles out of their way, at their own expense, to make sure your pet gets delivered safely.

As you can imagine, it’s normal for these truckers to get attached to the pets they deliver. In fact, some truckers get so hooked on the companionship, they adopt pets of their own. Want to go further? Check out……