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February 27, 2008

A Story of Rescue & Fostering

By: Penny - First Friends Animal Rescue

It began four months ago with an email forwarded from a fellow canine rescuer. It read as follows:

Special Needs Terrier – “…born without one front leg and another deformed. Owners are in the middle of a divorce. Husband works the river 30 hours on, 30 hours off and wife ran off and left the dog without care in the trailer.”

Without hesitation, First Friends Animal Rescue was on it. But this pooch was over 900 miles away. How would we get her to Milwaukee? I began to send emails throughout the network of breed rescues I hope that someone would be able to pick up this terrier in Metropolis, IL. After receiving no replies, I readied myself for the trip. Just then, I was able to connect with a woman named Francis who happened to live close to trailer where the terrier was found. Francis was willing to allow the terrier to stay with her for a week while transportation arrangements were being worked out.

As an ex-limo driver, I immediately opened up the maps in search for major highways going through Metropolis, IL. Once I had a route mapped out, I hit the Internet in hopes of finding dog transports servicing this area. I came across I-57 Dog Transport and quickly posted a note on their message board. After several days of no response and growing worry, I received and email from Lorraine who was driving to Bourbonnais, Illinois from Tennessee and was willing to transport the homeless terrier.

Well, we’re getting there. I now have the terrier on her way home but only to Bourbonnais, IL so far. I still needed to get her into southern Wisconsin. I’ve been rescuing canines for many years in Wisconsin and have a cabinet full of past files, one of which belonged to Jim and Judy. I asked them if they’re willing to briefly foster the terrier while on her journey to Wisconsin. They were more than willing, and as it turned out, they lived only a few blocks away from Lorraine’s daughter which made the handoff extremely easy.

Jim and Judy shared their home with the terrier for a night and then drove her to Champaign, IL where the next leg of her journey would begin with Dave. Dave was able to transport the terrier to the border of Wisconsin where First Friends Animal Rescue was able to finally meet this little terrier. As if this meeting wasn’t exciting enough, it turned out that our little terrier was not a terrier at all, but a pure bred Chihuahua. Didn’t matter to us. We were very excited to finally meet this little one and to help find her a forever home.

As we began the search for this terrier, oops, Chihuahua’s new home, one of my rescuers, Celia, offered to become her foster mom. Celia fell in love and could not imagine this Chihuahua leaving her family, so, she made the adoption official and just like that, Miss Franny (named after Francis who started the long journey home) became the official spokes-dog for First Friends Animal Rescue.

We’d like to thank everyone who was involved in Miss Franny’s 900 mile journey to her forever home in Wisconsin. For those of you involved in breed rescue organizations, this story surely warms your heart. For anyone interested in fostering companions as they await adoption, feel free to contact a rescue organization of your choosing.

Penny, First Friends Animal Rescue


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