By DEUCE NIVEN
Memorial Day should prove to be a day of rest for two volunteers spending the bulk of the weekend taking ten rescued dogs to new homes in North Dakota.
Candice Gary, employed at Columbus Correctional Institution in Brunswick, and co-worker Raffaela Breininger loaded the animals into a rented van at the Columbus County Animal Shelter in Whiteville Friday, and set out just before noon for Jamestown, North Dakota, more than 1,600 miles and 24 hours away.
It’s all part of an ongoing effort to place dogs taken in by the shelter in good homes, Animal Control Director Joey Prince said.
“Candice runs our volunteer Facebook page,” Prince said. That page, (facebook.com/ccacdogs), brought the local shelter in contact with the James River Humane Society in North Dakota, where volunteers offered to take in five rescue dogs.
“Getting the dogs to North Dakota, obviously, presents some challenges,” Prince said.
Gary raised funds to rent a van, Breininger picked it up in Lumberton Friday morning, and the dogs were loaded up, every one seeming eager to get into the kennels packed puzzle perfect into the back of the van.
“This is something I want to do,” Gary said. “Getting these dogs to a good home is worth it.”
Breininger, a native of rural Connecticut, said she was happy when Gary asked for her help.
“I’m used to hauling chickens,” Breininger said. “And I’m used to driving, going back to Connecticut.”
Breininger said the she and Gary hope to be home Sunday night.
“Straight there and straight back,” she said. They plan to alternate sleeping and driving, and expect more than a few breaks to walk the dogs. Breininger said those breaks could easily make the trek north and west into a 30-hour drive, the women expecting to make better time returning.