ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — A mission to save dozens of pets from being put down turned into memorable journey because of the weekend blizzard.
Underdog Rescue went down to Texas to save 26 dogs from euthanasia.
On the way back, they were forced to stop in Iowa because of blizzard-like weather, leaving them with no where to sleep but the van they traveled in.
Jeff Wagner shows us how strangers with a passion for animals came to their rescue.
Shy and shivering, dogs from Texas will need some time to adjust to Minnesota’s weather, but at least they have the opportunity.
“Some of them were hours from being euthanized,” Underdog Rescue volunteer Jennifer Sahler said.
Sahler and Morgan Harding volunteered last week to drive south to save more than two dozen dogs — and a cat — by bringing them north to Underdog Rescue.
“We get them and place them in foster homes and get them all healthy and adopt them out,” Shannon McKenzie, executive director of Underdog Rescue said.
But Sunday’s blizzard-like winds shut down the highways in Minnesota — and their trip home.
“That night it got to like negative 15,” Harding said.
With no place to go, the volunteers cranked the heat and spent the night with the animals in the van.
“We ended up covering all the dogs with all of our blankets,” Harding said.
Their luck changed the next day.
Although roads remained closed, the Petco pet store in Ames, Iowa took in all dogs, groomed them, fed them and cleaned their kennels for free.
Then a home remodeling company offered up their warehouse to give the pets — and their human companions — a warm place to stay for another night.
“They normally keep their shop at 50 degrees and they cranked it up to 80,” Harding said.
By Tuesday, the group was finally able to head north. And once back in Minnesota, each pet was able to secure a foster home.
Their mission was a success, even if it was more eventful than expected.
“It feels good to be home, I won’t lie, but it’s been an amazing trip and I would go again tomorrow,” Harding said.