DANGEROUS freeway rescue!
This video is dedicated to my friend Norman Weldon who loved Hope For Paws.
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Help us save more lives 🙏
For Christmas, I wanted to share the story of Norman because it's a perfect example of how we will do whatever it takes to save a life. As soon as I received the call about a dog who was hit by a car on the I-710 Long Beach Freeway, I rushed over to the rescue location. It was a weekend, so traffic was somewhat lighter, but that made the situation even more dangerous because people were driving faster while he was lying motionless on the side of the highway!
It took me over an hour to reach the location where the dog was last seen, and after a quick glance, the dog seemed to be lifeless. Norman was lying in the left lane, and there was only a narrow shoulder, so I couldn’t pull over safely. I drove another mile until I reached the closest exit, at which point Loreta called to check in on me because she knows how dangerous these missions are. I told her that I thought Norman was dead, but I was not going to leave until I was absolutely certain there wasn’t a beating heart inside his body. I assured her I would find the closest police station to get help with stopping traffic on the freeway.
I rushed to the police station, and I was amazed that no one was there! The only thing in the lobby was a telephone with instructions to call the police. I tried the number, was left on hold for a couple of minutes, and decided to hang up and walk around to the back parking lot to see if I could find an officer. The police station and parking lot were empty, so I knew that I was on my own.
Minutes later, I was back driving on the left lane of the freeway, and as I got closer to the location of the dog, I slowed down because I needed the vehicles behind me to slow down as well. When I spotted the dog the second time, I pulled over as much as I could and used my car to block a portion of the left lane. As I walked toward Norman, I couldn’t believe it when he lifted his head! This could have turned out to be a complete nightmare - a scared dog could have run into oncoming traffic, been hit by a car again, or caused a major accident.
Every rescue like this could be my last, but this is my passion, and I will do anything for these animals. I managed to secure Norman, quickly evaluate his condition, and return safely to the car. At CARES, he was x-rayed, and it was determined he suffered from a fractured pelvis. My hope is that you will watch Norman’s rescue video and share it with family and friends this holiday season.
The name Norman was given to him in honor of an older gentleman who loved and supported Hope For Paws for a long time. Norman and I became friends, and earlier this year, he shared with me that he was dying.
Norman asked for my personal assistance with finding his beloved cat Nini a loving forever home. He didn't have family or friends, and he didn't want Nini to be thrown out to the streets or be left at the shelter to die.
A month before he passed away, he asked me to come over and take Nini because he was no longer able to care for her. I drove to his small apartment, and we spent some time together. Norman told me about all the things Nini loved, and after he said his goodbyes, Nini and I continued to the hospital and then to her foster home. Two weeks later, I went to visit my mom (which turned out to be my last visit with her), and while I was away, I kept sending Norman smoothies (he suffered from throat cancer which made it impossible for him to eat). A few days later, he passed away peacefully, knowing Hope For Paws made sure his cat was safe and loved.
Norman Jr. continued to his foster home with our friends at The Animal Rescue Mission. They are new partners of Hope For Paws, and I hope you will check out all the dogs they have for adoption here: https://www.theanimalrescuemission.org
Our medical partner CARES is expanding to help us save more animals.
Norman, just like all the animals we rescue, was taken to CARES (California Animal Rescue Emergency Services) for medical treatment. Over the past year, CARES hired a second full-time surgeon along with a second full-time medical team, so we now have a hospital available to us 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This is a big step forward for Hope For Paws that will help us to double the number of lives that we save each year!
Over 95% of the animals that we provide medical care for at CARES do not have a rescue video. Most animals come to us badly injured, requiring expensive surgeries or are in need of treatment for every possible disease out there. After the animals have been discharged from CARES, they all continue to foster homes for their physical and emotional recovery in preparation for adoption.
More animals than ever before will need Hope For Paws help in the New Year
We’re seeing an increase in the number of neglected and homeless animals on the streets. At the same time, shelters are overcrowded because of an increase in the number of abandoned animals. It's important to understand that animals suffering from medical problems within the shelter system are at the highest risk of being killed. We are committed to helping these animals get out of the shelter and giving them a second chance that begins with the best medical care.
It is unacceptable to me, as I know it is unacceptable to you, that a dog or a cat be killed because of a broken leg.
If you haven't done so already, please take a minute to join us as a member.
My holiday wish is that every Hope For Paws supporter will help us recruit one friend to join us as a member so we can double our impact.
This rescue reminds me of PD's rescue where I was able to get assistance from the LAPD. I know they are swamped with work, and I am always trying to get assistance to do these rescues safely.
Another rescue I accomplished with the police:
And of course, I also rescue cats on the freeway:
Like you, I value animals in my life, and I know that together we can make a real difference for so many animals in need.
Happy Holidays! ❤