Mary Ellen is the co founder and president of Crossing Paths Animal Rescue. Crossing Paths is a small group of volunteer men, women and families who work tirelessly to give death row animals a chance to live. With the aid of their satellite group in Yardley, PA, they find southern dogs homes in other areas of the country and arrange to have them transported there. Cassidy is among the many animals that Mary Ellen has personally saved from the kill shelters.
“I have always been an animal lover,” Mary Ellen said. “[Animals] have no voice and we have done a terrible job in helping them. I wanted to help. I know many think killing them is the answer. If they are seriously ill or a danger, then [euthanasia] should be used, but not on young, adoptable dogs and cats.”
Crossing Paths has pulled over 800 plus animals from the shelter from which Cassidy had been saved. Mary Ellen and the other fosters are all volunteers working for change in Blount county, Alabama.
Mary Ellen is also a grandmother of 3 lovely girls, ages 6 to 22.
1) On that day when you rescued Cassidy, what were you feeling when you arrived at the shelter?
Helpless, frustrated and very overwhelmed. [The kill shelters] are cold, wet and uninviting places. Remember [the animals] go there to die. I wanted to throw up, with all the dogs and puppies that needed help. I wanted to pull as many as I could out. I felt helpless.
2) Why is it that so many animals were in the kill shelter?
[Because of ] not spaying and neutering. There are too many animals. People can’t keep them all. [Crossing Paths] has started Fix Your Mama. A program [where, if] anyone brings a litter of kittens or puppies into the shelter, we’ll spay the mama cat or dog [of that litter.] We have done thousands of surgeries. We also do rabies [vaccines] and have rolled this program out to anyone that will spay their animals. [Fix Your Mama] has played the major role in reducing the shelter’s intake, and I think the program is now going into its second year. It is all based on donations.
3)Do the people in the shelters make an effort to help rescue groups like yours?
Somewhat, but they could do much more, if they wanted to. Most of the shelters just kill [the animals.] It is so much easier than what we do. We have asked The County to help us. They have yet to make the changes we have requested.
4) What changes have you asked for?
If we don’t get the dog or puppy that day, [the shelter] will not let us mark them, so we can come and get them [later.] They tell us it doesn’t work for them. I am upset because it should be about helping the animals and not [the shelter.] I have gone to The County. They always let the shelter do what they want..
5) What is it you look for when determining which dogs and cats your group brings out?
Family pets. Ones that show interest in people. There are still many more we can’t get out because of the [limited] number of foster home.
6)When you bring a shelter dog into your rescue, what happens if you can’t adopt it out?
It stays with us until a home comes along. We usually do find a home for the dog. When a dog gets adopted through us, we go into the shelter and get more out. So, not only does that dog get a home, but another one comes off of death row.
7) Is there anything else you would like to add?
[Crossing Paths] started with 13 [dogs] going North and has grown to hundreds going North every year now. We have a long way to go but [through] loving, caring people that step up for change, we can all make a difference. We are always looking for other rescues and partners up North so we can help more.
Thank you so much taking that leap of faith and adopting a southern dog.
To see the adoptable pets on Crossing Paths website click here: http://www.adoptapet.com/adoption_rescue/74055.html
To read articles about other members of Crossing Paths click here: http://wp.me/p2Z3nU-lB