I am starting out with an apology because there have been so many people involved in this rescue effort that I know I am likely to forget someone(s). There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes, it’s dizzying. If I fail to include you, it’s not for lack of appreciation. Thank you.
In no particular order, I would like to thank the following individuals and groups who helped save Mari. For those who have been asking about making donations, I will include links and you can choose where you’d like to donate:
Steve Markwell of Olympic Animal Sanctuary – From his phone and computer in WA, Steve got on this case and stayed on it with terrier tenacity. Without his expert guidance, we would have all been at a loss for what to do. Saving a feral dog from a pound determined to kill her is very different from saving a regular pet. It was uncharted territory for all of us and Mr. Markwell’s expertise gave us the critical help we needed to jump through all the flaming hoops the city held out for us. I am so impressed by his dedication to Mari. When he heard yesterday that MAS was going to kill her at 5pm because of a cold she had caught at the pound, he reacted as if Mari had been his personal pet of 15 years. His commitment to this dog has been amazing and inspiring.
Animal Rescue New Orleans – Mr. Markwell knows the people here and says they are excellent with feral dogs. In order to secure an immediate space for Mari with minimal travel time for her, Mr. Markwell contracted with ARNO to take Mari for initial evaluation. They stepped up big time and on very short notice, offered to drive to Jackson, MS to meet Ona for the transfer. I hope they are able to share updates with us on how Mari is doing.
Ona Cooper of Meows and BowWows – Ona acted as agent for Mr. Markwell in order that he could adopt Mari, offered her very expensive trap (which I think we need to replace!), sat in the MAS lobby all day while they jerked us around, and at the end of it all drove Mari to Jackson, MS.
Lou Ann Muntz – Lou Ann committed to staying put in the MAS lobby all day with Ona. The ladies were determined to stay until they were thrown out, if it came to that, because they knew that Mari would be killed the second they left. Lou Ann was on texting duty all day providing updates and letting us know what was needed.
Jody Fisher – Since all of this was done on very short notice, Jody stepped up to take Ona’s place at the Meows and BowWows Saturday adoption event. She lugged equipment, held down the fort at the adoption event and helped in communicating with Ona and Lou Ann at the pound.
Tammy Stevens – Tammy is the reader who first offered to adopt Mari, before we were told she was feral. She got the behaviorist to evaluate Mari for us and continued to advocate for her even after she learned that Mari was feral and not adoptable.
All you guys – There was an overwhelming outpouring of assistance from readers, both privately and on the blog. You guys networked for transport, made suggestions and offers on ways to get Mari out the cage, looked up info and made phone calls when we needed it, kept us updated on what was going on with the webcam feed, and I know some of you have already made donations on Mari’s behalf. Without this group effort, this rescue would not have happened. I love you, man. *sniff*
Last but not least, Jan Courtney of SOS Memphis – When it got down to the wire yesterday afternoon and we were desperate to get Mari out the cage by any means, Jan drove down there and announced (to a stunned Ona and Lou Ann) she would go in the cage with Mari and help get her out. I know there are people in the dog world who can meet a dog and read the dog to determine the risk level of the growling/barking/lunging. I am not one of those people and I truly admire the very few who are. I dread to think where we would all be today if Jan had not stepped up and taken action. Read Jan’s most interesting account of how she got Mari out the cage.
Update: The crew from ARNO got Mari settled at their shelter last night and then headed out for some food. They were hit head on by a driver who veered into their lane. Seat belts and airbags saved them and they all walked away with minor injuries. Their vehicle is totaled. Vehicles can be replaced. People willing to save Mari can not. I am so thankful they were all wearing their seat belts and I hope they recover from their minor injuries quickly. We need all our advocates in fighting form!
On a much lighter note, Mari is Mario. (!)