Our Story

Our Mission

At Rescue Express, our mission is to save lives by transporting homeless animals from high-kill shelters and overpopulated areas to forever homes.

Who We Are

Rescue Express is a Rancho Santa Fe, California based initiative of the MGM Animal Foundation; a 501(c)3, public charity organization, established in 2000 with a focus on animal welfare. With the dedication of our Founder, Mike McCarthy, and kind contributions from the general public, Rescue Express has been giving animals their "freedom ride" since February of 2015.


What We Do

Did you know that there is a shortage of adoptable pets in the northern United States and Canada? We solve this problem by relocating at-risk animals from the southern states and delivering them to safety- 20,000 and counting!

Rescue Express transports animals from high-kill shelters in Southern and Central California to rescue groups in the Pacific Northwest and from Houston to the northern central U.S. states,  who find them forever homes. Since the inaugural transport on February 14, 2015, Rescue Express has saved the lives of close to 20,000 animals using large-capacity school buses that have been converted and outfitted to safely and humanely transport up to 200 animals per trip. Rescue Express transport services are provided free of charge to our rescue partners. We rely on generous support from donors like you in order to continue offering this free, life-saving service to our partners. Please consider supporting our mission and donate today!

Our recent transformation from a transporter to a transport program enabler will help organizations needing avenues to save animals to reach out to distant organizations as a solution to euthanization.

Everyone wins when we work together.  The animal is saved, the sending shelter’s live release rate soars, the receiving shelter meets the public’s demand for a companion animal, and the adopter receives a decade or more of unconditional love from an appreciative pet.

Our Impact

Our fleet began its operations along the West Coast I-5 corridor with designated pick up and drop off locations in California, Oregon and Washington, however our impact spans north and south from Mexico to Canada, and eastward to central and southern U.S. states via our ever-growing network of 300+ rescue partners. Rescue Express has recently added two additional buses to the fleet with new routes throughout the United States due to the heavy demand from natural disasters areas Stay tuned! Rescue Express will be adding new routes throughout the US as the demand grows for our rescue transports.

Our Future

We will continue to improve and expand the Rescue Express transport model across the country. We are also working to reduce the number of animals needing relocation with innovative, multi-prong initiatives including: support for low cost spay/neuter initiatives and lobbying improved local animal regulations and enforcement.

Our Founder

Rescue Express is an initiative of MGM Animal Foundation. Founder Mike McCarthy; a retired software entrepreneur who has been working with rescue groups to save the lives of homeless animals for over 20 years.