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Rescue Mission

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Rescue Mission

If you’re in a position to help, you should.

Hy-Vee employee James Jacobs took that maxim to heart when he saw victims of Hurricane Harvey on television try desperately to save their loved ones and belongings from rising floodwater.

Jacobs, assistant manager of perishables at the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee, belongs to a pit bull rescue group that operates out of northeast Iowa. His fiancé, Kristen Willett, a Market Grille server and Starbucks barista at the store, also volunteers with the organization.
They decided to head to Texas to see how they could help.

“Some people just had to get up and go. They had no way to take their dogs with them,” Jacobs said. “I has two days off and was going to do some patio work at home. I have a big truck. We decided we’d save as many dogs as we could.”

With a $300 donation from the store, Jacob and Willett gassed up for the 35-hour round trip. Then they talked to an acquaintance, Erik Hansen, who owns a horse trailer. Hansen figured there’d be room for nearly a dozen dog kennels. So the trio put Jacobs’ German shepherd, Lobo, in the truck, hooked up the trailer and headed south.

The plan was to alleviate pressure on a jam-packed animal shelter in Dallas that expected another wave of abandoned animals from the Houston area to arrive at any time.

The group managed to gather 11 dogs for the trip back to Iowa.

“All of them were puppies that had been separated from their owners,” he said. “When you see that, you just have to take them.”

The dogs, he said, “are in great shape; they’re happy, and I think that can easily be adopted.”

Another rescue trip is planned.

“I know a lot of people wish they could help in a situation like this,” said Jacobs. “Fortunately, we actually could.”