Brave Man Travels 4,200 Miles to Transport Rescued Southern Dogs to Their New Northern Homes

Sometimes, dogs need a little help to get from beleaguered, depressing and dark conditions to get to their forever homes. Luckily, there are people like Greg Mahle to help them out.

Mahle, a lifelong dog rescuer, has spent the last decade searching for homes for rescue dogs in Putnam, Connecticut and elsewhere. His overall strategy involves driving down South, picking up rescue dogs, and bringing them up north to families that might want to give them forever homes.

In Mahle’s ten years doing this work, he guesses approximately 50,000 dogs have been saved thanks to his efforts.

One such dog is Albie, a dog Mahle gave to Peter Zheutlin of Dover, Massachusetts. Zheutlin is proud and happy to own such a good dog, and wanted to know the story behind Mahle’s quest to bring the dog to him from a high-kill Louisiana shelter. In the end, Zheutlin wrote a book about it, called Rescue Road.

According to Zheutlin, Greg, from Zanesville, Ohio, takes a days-long trip in his semi truck from Ohio to Nashville, on through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and elsewhere, picking up dogs from high-kill shelters and elsewhere along the way. Beginning to end, the trip takes six days.

The reasons behind Mahle’s brave quest are largely attributable to the large overpopulation problem that occurs with Southern dogs. With the lighter spay and neuter culture in the South, reproduction is higher, which leads to a shelter system that is more willing to kill dogs. To that end, Mahle felt a calling to rescue these dogs and bring them to safer climes up north.

Mahle believes he has the happiest – and saddest – job in the world as he sees how people can treat dogs all over the country. “People are capable of doing horrible and unspeakable things. People are also capable of showing love to an extent that will just melt you.

I get to see both of those things.”

Image credit: AP Photo/Zanesville Times Recorder, Chris Crook