Together we make a difference. I volunteer for a dog rescue where one of the things I do is answer the rescue line. I’ve always taken this job very seriously, especially when the call is from a shelter out of space or from an owner who has to give up a pet and doesn’t know where to turn. Not too long ago I received a call from a gentleman with a thick southern accent asking if we pulled from Mississippi as he had a sweet senior female chocolate lab mix who was due to be euthanized as soon as her stray hold was up a few days later. My heart sank because I knew my rescue could not help but I called him back anyway. Something about the photo he then shared with me touched me in a way that I made me determined to help. The photo showed the pretty but sad senior female, but in the back of the kennel there was also a younger male yellow lab mix. Jerry told me that this guy had been dropped off with her and was truly terrified as soon as he realized he was being taken into the shelter, and now he was starting to shut down. And with good reason – he too was scheduled to be put down in a matter of days. As cute as he was, he wasn’t ever going to make it out of stray hold to the adoption wing to be given a chance for a family to love him.
I started by posting on Facebook to try to raise awareness for their situation; if everyone who read my post shared it, just maybe we could help these two. As someone who has devoted the last 5 years of my life into trying to help dogs, I know we can’t save them all, but just maybe we could save these two. Those of us in rescue need some wins to offset the losses. As it turns out one of my Facebook friends runs the Animal Care Sanctuary in northern PA, and she asked if transport was available. My heart soared as I felt confident I could raise money to help transport and vet these dogs; all they needed was someone to give them a chance and ACS stepped up to the plate to be their lifeline.
Friends continued to read and share my posts, asking for help raising funds, and together we raised over 3K to help these two and others. And a few days later these two were pulled and temporarily housed by the Mississippi Animal Project. Monique of MAP picked them up, bathed them, vetted them and fed and housed them until we could find room on transport north two weeks later.
The story doesn’t end there as even their trip north was not without drama. Chris of Safe Haven Rescue of Mississippi was doing their transport and unfortunately the transport van carrying some 20 dogs to PA and beyond got in a bad accident en route in Alabama. Amazingly enough none of the animals were hurt (although poor Chris got pretty banged up), but it was 100 degrees out, and the dogs had to be moved quickly. Firemen and police men came to the rescue and before no time at all, all dogs were safely temporarily housed at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter until a plan as figured out to continue the trip (Safe Haven’s van was totaled). Fate smiled on these dogs again as the shelter decided to loan their brand new transport van driven by one of their volunteers Jim to continue the trip north.
The rest of Maggie and Jerry’s trip was thankfully pretty uneventful and I was very excited to meet the van in Harrisburg for their last leg towards ACS where I met two ACS interns Chelsea and Elizabeth, who along with me pulled an all-nighter to make this happen. And I’m happy to write that Maggie and Jerry have already been adopted, so these two adopting families are the last individuals in a long list of people who helped these two pups.
I’ll end this story with where it began: together we make a difference. It starts with one, but in the end it takes a village, and what a village it was that came together for these two deserving creatures. Their success gave me renewed energy to continue the good fight, and I hope it inspires you to do the same. We’ve got a lot more work to do!