Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 17, 2017

Eastern Iowa animal rescue groups help save Hurricane Harvey dogs

Sep 01, 2017

CEDAR RAPIDS — James Jacobs opened the doors of a trailer Thursday in Cedar Rapids and was met with grateful gazes of 11 shivering pups.


The dogs, all rescued from Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, had come to the end of a 16-hour journey and were about to meet their foster parents in the parking lot of the Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee store.


“We don’t want to bring any dogs that don’t have a place,” said Donna Penne, co-director of Waterloo-based Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue that coordinated the trip in which three volunteers traveled to San Angelo, Texas, to pick up the dogs after they were displaced from a shelter in Houston and set to be euthanized. “We are always taking foster applications and we made sure we had enough fosters for these puppies to have a home when they got here.”


Jacobs, who traveled with fellow Cedar Rapidians Kristin Willett and Eric Hansen, said he’ll be fostering two of the puppies as they await permanent adoption.


“They’ll need to be taken care of first, getting well vetted and getting back up to a good weight,” he said. “But they’re very friendly and playful and they’ll have a great chance of getting adopted.”


He described the two-day journey to rescue the dogs as “long and exhausting,” adding he is glad they were able to bring the puppies somewhere safe.


Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue is one of a handful of Eastern Iowa organizations — including Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids, Fur Fun Rescue and Last Hope Animal Rescue — working to help save animals impacted by Harvey, which caused widespread, historic flooding in Texas. Shelters there are working to clear space for family pets as the recovery begins.


The dogs coming to Iowa were those up for adoption before the Hurricane made landfall.


Roxanne Hoover, director of Fur Fun Rescue in Lisbon, said this is a time for animal lovers to come together.


“It’s only natural for us to want to go down and help these dogs,” she said.
Four Fur Fun volunteers are headed to Texas on Monday and are expecting to transport 40 to 50 dogs back to Iowa.


Critter Crusaders also is planning a trip with plans to depart Sunday.
Two volunteers from Last Hope Animal Rescue of Cedar Rapids returned Thursday afternoon with 13 dogs.


Jacobs, of Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue, said he has volunteered for the organization in the past.


“And when they ask for help, whether it’s food or time or transportation, I try to give that to them.”


He and his team departed from Cedar Rapids at 9 p.m. Tuesday and were back 36 hours later to deliver the dogs to their new foster parents. All of the dogs will need some type of medical attention before they are ready to be adopted, although all are expected to return to full health.


Jacobs is the assistant manager of general merchandising at the Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee. The store donated $300 in gas money for the trip. Hy-Vee also recently announced that it is accepting customer donations to the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts in Texas. The company is matching all donations received from through Sept. 30, up to $100,000.


Penne said Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue is planning a second trip to Texas, at which time volunteers will exchange donations of food and other shelter needs for more dogs and even a few cats to bring back to Iowa.


“We are not exclusive to helping only Pit Bulls,” she said. “Especially now, we will help any animal who needs our help.”

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