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STOCKTON, CA - Volunteers drove 41 dogs from Stockton to Seattle, where a rescue group will help find homes for the animals.

Stockton's Animal Protect League works with the Stockton Animal Shelter to transfer dogs to the Seattle animal rescue People United for Pets; since working with this transfer program, more than 1,174 dogs have found new homes, animal shelter spokesperson Susan Platt said.

Volunteers from Stockton loaded up the dogs in a van around 4 a.m. Saturday and headed to Eugene, Ore., where they will meet up with volunteers from Seattle; the dogs will then continue their journey to Seattle with People United for Pets volunteers.

Platt said the shelter has seen an increase in the number of adopted pets and the number of animals placed with rescue organizations. By the end of 2012, Stockton Animal Shelter saw 1,250 animals adopted, which was an increase from 193 in 2011.