Group drives 2,000 miles to deliver 36 dogs

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SUMITON – Robin Jackson, Melody Gilliland, and two others from Forgotten Tales Rescue went on a mission of mercy on Feb. 21, driving almost 2,000 miles to deliver 36 adult dogs to other rescue groups that met in Wisconsin - putting the dogs one step closer to their forever home.

Most of the time, Forgotten Tales ships the dogs via professional transport to these other locations, but this past weekend was different.

The group rented a van to transport 36 dogs to Wisconsin, but Jackson quickly realized they would need more space for the dogs to travel comfortably, so she decided they would also take her Chevy Suburban on the trip.

“We were loaded to the gills,” she said with a laugh. 

Jackson, who is the office administrator at Sumiton Animal Clinic, left Sumiton at 9:40 p.m. after working all day. Since they were taking two vehicles, Lana Humber and Chrisi Horton, who also works at Sumiton Animal Clinic, pitched in and helped with the doggy delivery marathon. They arrived the next day at 10:40 a.m.  

“We had six different groups going this weekend,” she said. “In three days, we moved 90 babies one step closer to their forever home.” The dogs are all ages. “We had 36 that had been with us from six months to two years,” she said. These dogs were from Walker County.

Forgotten Tales worked out agreements with other rescue groups around the country. Dogs go to their partner rescue groups in places like Chicago, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New York, and other locations. These places have better laws, according to Jackson.

“We are all foster-based,” she said. “All of our dogs came through the clinic for vetting, but they are in foster homes.”  

Forgotten Tales get the dogs healthy here and then moves them to other places, according to Jackson. These other groups have a good track record of placing the dogs in forever homes,” she said.

The volunteer from Arrow’s Heart Rescue in Minnesota told Jackson that the dogs were the healthiest she has seen from Alabama. This means the dogs can go immediately into homes, according to Jackson. Three of the dogs they delivered have already been adopted.

“We take strays in – strays that come up into people’s yards and have puppies,” said Jackson. They work primarily in Walker County. “Every now and then, we’ll have a hard case outside the county, but primarily in Walker County,” she said.

The adult dogs are harder and more expensive to move. “Everybody wants to adopt a cute little puppy. Not everyone wants to take on an adult that may be apprehensive of people or a food aggressive,” she said. Jackson clarified that they never send aggressive dogs because that’s a no-no, according to Jackson.

“Some are just shy and need a little more nurturing. We do as much as we can here, and then they (the other rescue groups) take it forward. 

Rescuing dogs is not just a job for Jackson. “It’s a passion,” she said. “Since I was a little girl, I’ve always had an unnatural love for dogs.”

In the three years that Jackson has volunteered for Forgotten Tales, they have helped 3,800 dogs. “As of this January, we’ve already helped 260 dogs,” she said. The group doesn’t want to have to handle that many dogs, but they’re there.

All the work is based on donations. They have a PayPal account where people can donate. Some people do fundraisers, have yard sales, and one woman makes tee-shirts to sell to raise money to help the pups, according to Jackson.

Anyone who wants to help can learn more on the Forgotten Tales Facebook page or visiting www.forgottentailsrescue.org