(Our Auto Expert) – After the Lilac Fire in California and hurricane Harvey in Houston it was obvious that animals are often an afterthought when it comes to disaster relief.
Rescuers needed vehicles to help retrieve and transport pets and livestock from disasters and during their everyday functions. Our Auto Expert wanted to help. The idea behind Animal Rescue Rigs we would source manufacturers and aftermarket specialists to create rescue vehicles for these organizations so they could use their funds for rescue instead of vehicle purchase.
Partner Mike Caudil and I built our first vehicle, “Paws One” thanks to a donated Nissan Titan truck that we showed off at the SEMA show. With the help of a long list of aftermarket companies like Line X, Nexen tire and car designer Kenny Pfizer we made a concept into a reality. But COVID halted the long-term animal rescue rig plans.
I found a dog I was interested in adopting in Omaha Nebraska from Basset and Beagle Rescue.
Everything clicked when I found they needed help with transporting and a truck to rescue animals. Mike Caudill and I with the rest of the Animal Rescue Rigs team met and we decided to donate the truck.
I told a few friends I was going to drive the truck to Omaha for Christmas and bring back Frodo, the rescue dog. Suddenly other journalists offered to pitch in with gas money, driving hours, and their own air miles to split up driving to get Paws One the 1,650 miles it needed to go.
Jim Morrison offered a Grand Wagoneer L to drive not only my dog back, but what now had become a party of 4 dogs. Some going to other rescues and one going to a new forever home.