On a beautiful Wednesday Autumn afternoon a school bus plowed into Wright-Way Rescue (WWR) in Niles, IL. Luckily no animals, or people were injured. The bus totaled the animal rescue’s adoption center though, leaving dozens of animals in need of foster. More importantly, a rescue shelter’s livelihood is in jeopardy.
That’s because on Friday 75 animals were scheduled to arrive at the shelter for adoption over the weekend. And 75 more animals the next Friday and for as long as there are animals to be pulled from high-kill shelters in Southern Illinois and the surrounding area. For that’s how I ended up there. Without those adoptions there isn’t the funding to keep operating.
It all started around 10 years ago when a college student attended Southern Illinois University. Her mom taught dog training at Wright College, experienced in handling dogs, she readily began to volunteer at the local shelters. Only to learn the horrible truth about what happens at high-kill shelters when dogs she walked one week were gone the next. She started adopting animals, hiding then in her dorm room, then bringing them home to Chicago where her and her mom found homes for them. Which began a grassroots animal rescue organization in a temporary warehouse location with the help of the Petco Foundation.
The 99% kill rate at the rural shelters is due to a culture where there is no spay/neuter and the lack of adoptable homes. The concept of bringing animals from rural areas to urban areas for adoption, or animal transport rescue, is not new. But WWR’s intake facility in Murphysboro, IL is where they do things different, and at a whole new level. Their Admissions and Care Center is where the animals first arrive and are prepared for adoption. When my litter arrived there we were in pretty bad shape, due to the “humane” society we were pulled from. Sickly, we were treated by their staff of vets for seven weeks before we were cleared for transport. I had a family waiting for me already when I arrived on Friday morning after a five-hour drive in a van loaded with other dogs and cats. That’s another thing WWR does differently, when you see an animal you would like to meet, you can reserve it once you pass their stringent adoption application. The Lady I rescued found me on Petfinder.com, called to get more information and asked to reserve me for when I arrived at the adoption center in Niles.
Every Friday dozens of animals arrive at the Niles adoption center. Some are reserved, others are readily adopted by the line of people stretching around the building over the weekend waiting to bring a pet into their family. WWR’s reputation has grown over the years and has become well-known enough in their rural location that now owner’s who can no longer take care of their pets bring them to the intake facility instead of the high-kill shelters. WWR now offers low-cost spay/neuter programs for the rural areas and are educating them to bring down the numbers of unwanted litters.
WWR desperately needs donations and a building in order to continue these adoptions. They have been on a month-to-month lease for at least two years because the owner wants to redevelop the site. There is no hope they can rebuild their facility, which they have spent thousands of dollars on. There is no other organization of their kind, please visit http://www.firstgiving.com/wrightwayrescue to see how you can help. I normally don’t ask for charity but these people gave me my life, its all I can do in return for them.
Thank you. Love, Dolly the Doxie (mix)
UPDATE 10/8: Wright-Way Rescue to hold Adopt-a-thon and Donation Drive this weekend at the former Adoption Center, located at 7136 W Touhy Ave. 100+ animals will be up for adoption in the west parking lot. We would LOVE to see you there! We are still in desperate need of donations. Please donate here: http://www.firstgiving.com/
Update: WWR received a permit to put up a tent in their parking lot and hold their adoption event for the incoming transport animals on Friday from Southern Illinois.