A major rescue operation ends its journey in McHenry County. The survivors are from the western wildfires. The 4-legged refugees are Siberian huskies who might have died because shelters out west are too crowded.
A week-long journey has come to an end for nearly 20 Siberian huskies whose days were numbered.
"We went ahead and gathered up as many huskies as we could, loaded them up into this giant sprinter van. Monica drove from California to Oregon to pick me up and then I drove from Oregon to Illinois," says Miriam Meier-Smith, California Husky Rescue Network volunteer.
The dogs are all mainly from Southern California.
"We've had quite a few fires in that area. A lot of evacuations and last minute evacuations. Most of the shelters that take in people don't take in dogs," says Monica Rolan, California Husky Rescue Network volunteer.
Not all the huskies were rescued from the fires. Some had been abandoned before but the wildfires pushed them up to the top of the euthanasia list. That's when the California Husky Rescue Network found them. Group members found a way to save the dogs, nearly 2 thousand miles away, in Harvard, Illinois.
"Local shelters will step up and will allow the owners that are displaced by fires to come in. They get first choice precedence over dogs that are strays or owner-surrenders in the shelters. Shelters put out a plea to rescues to take the dogs at the shelter to take the dogs to make room for the dogs coming in. When that doesn't happen those dogs get killed for space," says Rolan.
"I'm here with Girl. She is just one of 17 dogs brought back from California. Now after she is assessed, her health is going to be checked, they are going to make sure she is ok and then eventually she will be adopted out to a family," says Rebecca Klopf, 13 News reporter.
Until that happens, Harvard's Free Spirit Siberian Rescue will be home for these huskies. If you want to find out more about their operation and the dogs log onto huskyrescue.org.
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