By Jena Williams

We all know that truck drivers are generally quite selfless and do what they can to protect and give back to the community. NBC News recently featured a story on more truck driving heroes. This report was about Operation Roger, a group of truckers who volunteer to transport abandoned pets to new “forever homes.”

As cool as a program like Operation Roger is, we were wondering if there might be even more benefit to the program than placing doomed or displaced pets. How does having a pet in the cab positively or negatively impact drivers?

So drivers, what are your thoughts or experiences? After a long day of driving, does having the responsibility of a pet increase physical activity such as walking?

Studies show that people with pets live longer, so does short term fostering the care of an animal, or several over the course of a year, impact emotional health in the form of companionship? Does it decrease the impacts of loneliness? What’s better than a companion who is willing to happily agree with everything you have to say? (Of course, this may not be true if you are transporting a cat.)*

On the other hand, are pets a distraction in the cab? Do you think they negatively impact your driving in any way?

Whether you have a full time pet companion or are a volunteer pet transporter, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

To find out more information about Operation Roger or to volunteer: http://operationroger.rescuegroups.org/

NBC Nightly News Story: http://dailynightly.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/23/17879769-saving-abandoned-animals-one-ride-at-a-time?lite

Photo is courtesy of Operation Roger and the namesake for the non-profit organization.

*All opinions expressed here are the personal views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the official view of TIRES. (My bosses made me say this even though everyone knows dogs are much better pets than cats.)