Mike McCarthy is a retired software developer. He thought that when cats and dogs were transported from one rescue area to another the service was not good enough. They were transported in a van. The animals overheated. He decided to buy a bus with his own money. He also runs his rescue transportation service with his own money.
He relies on donations but they cover only about 10% of the annual budget of $100,000. Therefore he spends $90,000 per annum of his own money, year-on-year, to run his transportation service which is called Rescue Express.
He does not charge the shelters from whom he collects the animals and neither does he charge the shelters to whom he delivers them.
Rescue Express is celebrating its 5,000 rescue. They transport dogs and cats from high kill shelters in California to no-kill shelters and rescue groups and homes in the Pacific Northwest.
McCarthy has been involved in animal rescue for about 20 years. The bus that he purchased contains 92 carriers. The animals remain in the carriers throughout the journey to separate them to minimise the spread of disease.
The trip is made in one go without stopping. The bus leaves Eugene at about 5 am on Friday. They then drive 14 hours to Los Angeles to collect the animals. Then they turn around and head north to make drop-offs just north of Seattle and then back to Eugene by 3 pm on Sunday.
The shelters benefiting from this excellent service are obviously delighted with it.
Sharon Lohman, president of New Beginnings for Mercer County animals said:
“To have a service like what Mike provides is a lifesaver for animals… He allows us to charter the bus one weekend every six weeks or so.”
It is said that in Merced, California the employment rate is high 10.5%. This economic hardship is accompanied a by lack of education concerning spaying and neutering which in turn appears to have resulted in animal shelters becoming too full with high euthanasia rates. There are more than enough cats and dogs to transport north to new homes.
McCarthy said the rescue campaign:
“is just something that’s near and dear to my heart. I’m just glad to save the animals that we can.”
He’s a great man who deserves all the credit he can get.