Women to the Rescue

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Shorty loves Midwest Airlines!

All over the country, caring people are applying their hearts and smarts to address the complicated problem of animal homelessness. The reality is that the majority of these kind people are women. Rescuers are making a difference in their communities by helping rescue dogs, cats, and other creatures in need - and they're doing it all in their spare time, while juggling the demands of career and family, including their own beloved pets.

Their efforts couldn't come at a more critical time, what with the nationwide home-foreclosure tragedy leaving thousands of animals abandoned. The luckier ones make it to the sanctuary of an animal shelter, but these facilities are already so overburdened that many "foreclosure pets" don't make it out alive just for lack of space.

It's no surprise that women should be the ones to initiate and realize rescue efforts. I should know, having recently helped escort a pit bull named Shorty from the Sulphur Springs animal shelter in rural Texas to safety in, of all places, New York City! I am awed and humbled by the caring and commitment of the people – all of them women - who pitched in to help this dog on his incredible journey to safety.

Denise, the animal control officer in charge of the shelter, took it upon herself to drive Shorty to meet Kimberly Fairchild, a volunteer transporter with the excellent non-profit group Shelter 2 Rescue. Kimberly kept Shorty overnight, lovingly bathed him in botanical extracts to detox and strengthen him for the long trip ahead, then drove him early the next morning to Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

Once there, Shorty was safely placed on a MIDWEST AIRLINES flight kindly arranged by Susan Kerwin, a true animal lover who designed Midwest's "Premier Pet" program. Kerwin is so passionate about safe air travel for dogs that she routinely does spot-checks by having herself closed into the cargo area during fuel burnoff!

Shorty flew in style in an airline-approved "Sky Kennel Ultra" crate generously donated by Arianna Mosqueda of PETMATE; his flight made a stop in Milwaukee, where he was transferred to a flight bound for New York's LaGuardia. His voyage went without a hitch.

Now this handsome boy from rural Texas is living with me here in Manhattan, where he's rapidly adjusting to the life of a spoiled city dog, marveling every day at the sheer abundance of outdoor restaurants - and it was the thoughtful teamwork of a group of women that got him out of harm's way.

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