Updated – Saving Mari: Cast and Credits

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.  (!)

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28 Comments

  1. Tammy

     /  October 30, 2011

    We love you too, man. *sniff* Thanks everyone!

    Reply
  2. Lisa in OH

     /  October 30, 2011

    I have been on cloud nine from the moment Mari left the building. I am so grateful and so in awe of everyone that made this happen. I’ll be sending out my donations later today. Hopefully the donation to Meows and Bows will help to replace the cage. Bless all of you!

    Reply
  3. Well done, everyone involved! But especially Jan Courtney. Mari would not have been a happy camper in any captive environment but must have been out of her mind with sustained panic in MAS. Jan handled this exactly right, perfect down to the last breath. Bless you all and a special thanks prayer for Jan’s expertise.

    Free again soon, Mari.

    Reply
  4. Cathy Karr

     /  October 30, 2011

    There is one other critical omission: yourself. Without your fierce, relentless devotion to exposing the unconscionable practices at MAS in general and to Mari in particular, this could never have had such an ending. Your eloquent advocacy, refusal to accept the status quo and passionate voice are represented for all to see by this concrete victory. However, the effects echo down the halls of MAS to the benefit of many other nameless victims past, present and future. Time for us to thank YOU.

    Reply
    • eh, I just do the typing. But your kind sentiment is much appreciated.

      Reply
      • Lou Ann

         /  October 30, 2011

        It is SO much more than just typing — and we all know that! You help bring the conditions at MAS into the limelight — and continue to do so. The city government here is relentless in their efforts to blame everything on the public but not take accountability for what goes on in their own facility and with their employees.

        Mari and countless others would not be alive today if it weren’t for Shirley’s blogging and sharing of pictures (some that are indeed hard to view). I’ve often said that the animals have no voice — that’s where we come in to help. You, my friend Shirley, are their voice in written word.

        I had to say a prayer of thanks this morning at church for everyone’s efforts (around the country) in getting Mari to a safe place. And I can assure you that Jan and I were both praying hard yesterday as she sweet talked Mari into the trap!!

        Very thankful today.

  5. jean

     /  October 30, 2011

    Many thanks for all the great work you do. The YesBiscuit blog is amazing! So grateful to all who worked so hard to rescue Mari. you are all heroes! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

    Reply
  6. God Bless each and everyone of you involved that said this life mattered! You gave Mari a voice and she landed safely with those who can protect her. I’m smiling this Sunday for a change…

    Reply
  7. mikken

     /  October 30, 2011

    Can we get a chip in started to replace Ona’s trap? It’s the least we can do…

    Reply
  8. Lou Ann

     /  October 30, 2011

    Oh no! I have the wrong website! Shirley — can you delete my post above?

    It is: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/meowsandbowwows.html. So sorry!!

    Reply
  9. Lisa in OH

     /  October 30, 2011

    Here is a Mari photo

    Reply
  10. db

     /  October 30, 2011

    Donations on their way to all involved – sorry it can’t be more, but I have a rescue cat girl with some . . . expensive . . . medical issues right now.

    Knowing that Mari is safe and on her way to a better life has made my day!

    Thank you to all.

    Reply
  11. Karen F

     /  October 30, 2011

    I agree with Cathy Karr . . . Shirley, this rescue started with you. You insisted that the fate of of a single unknown dog, glimpsed brieflly in webcam shots, be learned (“What happened to this dog?”).

    You told us when the jerking-around started, and engaged all of us in the effort to find solutions (“Talk Me Down”).

    You expanded the effort to rescue Mari into a fully fledged project (“Saving Dog #233616 from MAS”).

    You threw down the gauntlet publicly to keep her alive (“Memphis, Please Don’t Kill This Dog”).

    Then yesterday, the day of the rescue, you kept us informed and organized so we would know how to help and when (“Saving Mari”).

    Many people played critical roles, but yours was to be the public advocate, the public face, and the nerve center. You inspired us — I for one had never been involved in a rescue in any way, but I did things for Mari I’d never done before, because you connected what we all knew — that she mattered — to the need for action. Thank you . . . I am proud to be part of what Steve Markwell affectionately refers to as “the Yes Biscuit crowd.”

    Reply
    • db

       /  October 30, 2011

      Well said! Don’t ever underestimate the power of “us”! And you, Shirley, are the voice for all of these animals who otherwise would have no voice at all.

      Reply
    • Lou Ann

       /  October 30, 2011

      Totally agree!! :)

      Reply
    • jody

       /  October 31, 2011

      Great post, Karen F! I am also very proud to be part of the “yes biscuit crowd!” Me, you, us – we are all part of a wonderful network of animal lovers – we ARE their voices and we WILL be heard! And thank you, Shirley – you really are the driving force behind all of this good!!!

      Reply
  12. You guys, dont worry about my trap. I am sure it can be used at ARNO more than I will ever use it.

    Please donate to ARNO – they totaled their vehicle last night.
    ***After Mari was settled in the ARNO angels went to get something to eat and they were hit head on by someone that crossed over into their lane.***
    From their FB page: >>I was the passenger in a vehicle with one other ARNO vol and we were hit head on by someone who crossed into our lane, both cars were totaled but I credit the airbags and seatbelts for saving us both.<<

    Reply
  13. Amazing amazing amazing! Seriously you guys I’m about to cry. I’m so moved by all your hard work and dedication. It’s just amazing. Keep fighting the good fight, we will win the war.

    Reply
  14. mikken

     /  October 30, 2011

    Lucky Mario! (Amazing how once again MAS cannot tell male from female.)

    He probably needs some serious decompression time, he’s been through so much. Interesting though how he hid under his bed at MAS, but sits *on top* of his bed at ARNO (even though he has a safety den he could be hiding in). I’ll bet he knows already that he’s in a much better place than he was!

    A huge THANK YOU to all involved. I know that those of us too far away to do anything but shout encouragement are breathing a big sigh of relief today now that Mario is finally safe.

    It was an obstacle course start to finish, no doubt about it.

    Reply
    • I was thinking much the same thing on all accounts.

      (seriously, I realize the dog wasn’t cooperative, but supposedly he was examined right? How do you miss the male trappings??)

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  October 30, 2011

        He was vaccinated and chipped! You’d think someone would have noticed, but it’s not like proper record-keeping is a priority there, either.

    • joan

       /  November 1, 2011

      dogs know who their friends are and Mario certainly had MAS pegged from the beginning.

      Reply
  15. Jennifer

     /  October 30, 2011

    I would be scared to death at MAS too! It is sad that MAS did not know that Mari was actually a male, Mario! I am glad that everyone was okay in the crash! I hope all goes well for Mario but it seems like he is settling down-at least he is sitting on his bed and not hiding under it.

    Reply
  16. CristyF

     /  October 30, 2011

    I’m glad you guys were able to help this dog. :) At the rescue shelter I volunteer for, we have taken in dogs from hoarding situations before who were basically feral, and I have seen them become very adoptable pets and get great homes time and again. We had a dog come in who was basically catatonic at first, and with some reiki and fun with other dogs (we always put those dogs in paygroups with other dogs, it helps them build confidence) she is really turning around and will actually smile from time to time. :)

    Reply
  17. May there be a day when all animals entering an animal shelter has a team of caring people working to find him or het home or safety! Thank you to all that had any part in this dog’s rescue!

    Reply
  18. Attn: all pet rescuers — please consider marking all your crates, x-pens, traps, and other stuff with durable dog tags (hooked on with strong metal rings) with your organizations name, email, and/or phone number.

    This is very helpful for pet transporting and all pet adoption events with other groups.

    Reply
  19. I usually check in here and get discouraged. I certainly wasn’t expecting a good outcome for Mari-O. I am thrilled at the outcome and say hip hip hurray to all the stars involved. Brave, brave Jan. We should give her a certificate to Whole Foods or something to show our appreciation for her action beyond words.

    Reply
  20. mary francis

     /  October 31, 2011

    As Lou Ann said – Shirley you are their voice in written word. And to the Yes Biscuit crowd – thanks for being brave and good (not to mention all the hard work) – hope is alive along with Mario –

    Reply

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