From the Editor,
“Once you get into animal rescue and you see things that you wouldn’t see otherwise, you can’t turn your back on it any more.”
– Cathy Lindekugel, vice president of the Steele County Humane Society
I often say it “takes a village” to rescue one animal.
In a shelter or a rescue organization, that village consists of transporters who drive the animal to a shelter or foster home, the veterinarian who vaccinates and treats the pet, volunteers or foster families who feed and exercise the animal, volunteers who maintain websites and social media, community members who financially support the shelter/rescue and network its needs, and various staff members who manage paperwork and facilitate the adoption.
I have had the opportunity to participate in almost all of these roles. All are rewarding, but one of the most fun is transport.
Almost every Saturday of the year, carloads of dogs and cats leave public-pound death rows in southern states and travel to rescue groups in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The transport happens in a relay, with 10 or more “legs” filled by volunteer drivers.
One day I drove from Clear Lake, Iowa to Owatonna, Minn., with a Puggle, a Red Heeler, two cats, and a Bassett Hound who originated in Texas and would eventually meet his Canadian adopters in the Twin Cities.
My vehicle and my heart were full, and I was part of their village, if only for two important hours. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of transporting a car full of furry strangers, but everyone inside seemed to have an understanding that it wasn’t an ordinary trip.
You can read about this lifesaving relay on page 26, and I hope I’m not spoiling the surprise, but two dogs on a recent transport were adopted as a result of the drivers that day.
Transporting is an easy, one-time way to be part of a homeless animal’s village. As you’ll see on page 15, other animals in our community need help, too. Operation Vet Defense is raising money to purchase vests for our K-9 officers. You can help keep them safe by donating to the cause.
Melvin’s village included his first-time foster mom, who didn’t know she was in for a change of décor and a change of heart when she accepted him. What she learned about his past changed her perception of rescue animals altogether, and she penned it beautifully on p.16.
If you want evidence that this great rescue work happens all around us every day, look no further than the Rescue Directory on p.31, where we list 59 rescues and shelters that operate in Minnesota alone.
The stories of our animals keep us going, and it is our pleasure at the Wagazine to share them with you.