- Associated Press - Monday, February 20, 2017

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - A volunteer with a southern Minnesota animal shelter has set up a rescue network to bring dogs from overburdened shelters in Texas to Minnesota, where they may have a better chance of finding a home.

Diane Lucantonio, a volunteer with the Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society, started the network by reaching out to humane societies throughout Minnesota. She selects adoptable dogs in Texas, then raises money to bring them to Minnesota from their current shelters, where they could be euthanized.

“I consider them all my dogs,” Lucantonio said. “I follow up with them all the way to the end.”

The Mankato Free Press reported (https://bit.ly/2lyZAmH ) that Lucantonio has already brought about 100 dogs from Texas to Mankato since last July.

Susan Kroon, president of the Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society board of directors, said the network works because there are fewer dogs in need in Minnesota compared with the South, where there might be different views about pet ownership.

Kroon also said that different types of dogs are popular in different regions. For example, a homeless Chihuahua might not be adopted for months in California, but might find a home in days in Minnesota, where fewer small dogs are available.

One dog that made the more than 1,300-mile trek to Minnesota is Plex, a pit bull mix. He’ll soon be up for adoption, but he needs some dental work first.

“He is a big, sweet dog,” Lucantonio said.

Kroon said taking in dogs that need medical care, like Plex, is expensive, so they have to increase fundraising efforts. Sometimes, veterinarians offer to perform procedures such as Plex’s dental work at a discount.

“We do it because they are there, and they need help,” Kroon said of the rescue network. “It’s not like there are 45 needy dogs here that we turn away.”

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Information from: The Free Press, https://www.mankatofreepress.com


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