In rural Tennessee, a young golden dog had an angel looking out for him. This angel had an unusual resume — she was a retired police officer.
Willie belonged to a family that was neglectful at best and abusive at worst. His needs were not met, he wandered the streets, and at one point he was hit by a car. Parker, the retired cop, raised funds for his surgery. But the family got Willie back and he continued to be hungry, to roam, and to be neglected.
Finally, when the local animal control officer picked Willie up, and Willie jumped into the front seat of his truck as if they were long-time partners, the ACO called Parker. She sent an urgent plea out to rescuers across the Midwest. Those rescuers sent out her plea to others. And in a curious twist, the email reached a foster mom who knew Parker.
“I knew Parker. She spent her last dime on boarding for two pit bulls she saved — all the money she had saved for a down payment on a home. I helped her raise money to buy a place for rescuing dogs. I helped spread the word,” said this foster. “I called the local rescue I work with, Placing Paws, and they immediately agreed to take Willie into their program. In fact, they said that they had seen the email and his photos tugged at their heartstrings. A good friend offered to foster him, and we were set.”
That’s when the magic of transport came into play. Parker got Willie vetted and into boarding and then set to finding a way to get him from Tennessee to the Chicago suburbs. Cajun Caravan Transport and Julie Asher stepped up to get Willie to his new neighborhood.
Transport is truly a village working together to save shelter dogs. There is the “mayor,” or the person who arranges the transport, finds drivers, and finds someone to monitor the transport. If there are not enough drivers, the transport cannot go through. Asher was excited to help this three-legged guy get to a safe place.
The transport picked Willie up from boarding and took him to Bowling Green, KY. Stacey H. drove the 68 miles to get him there. From Bowling Green he was driven to Elizabethtown, KY, and then to Louisville, KY. Cracker Barrel, Home Depot, and Meijers all served as places to meet and turn over Willie and his belongings (his food and vet records). All dogs must have a health certificate to travel out-of-state.
From Louisville, Willie traveled to Seymour, IN and then to Indianapolis. Then Lafayette, Merrillville, and into Illinois. His final leg was to Elmhurst where Jonathan R met the foster family at a cemetery. (While most cemeteries don’t allow dogs, they make a perfect location to transfer dogs because they are usually quiet, not near busy streets, and no one will bother you. Make sure to be respectful and clean up.)
Willie’s trip began before 8:00 am in Tennessee and ended at 4:30 in Illinois. His foster family picked him up, and he went home happily looking out the window and sitting in laps. He went from a dog who was going to be euthanized the next day to a happy, playful dog living in a foster family with three children and another dog. Placing Paws is the rescue that facilitated his rescue. There are three people interested in adopting him, including one of the transporters and his foster family.
Willie will have a wonderful future. Thanks to a village.