When you think of saving animals, you likely realize the big picture. Millions of homeless animals in shelters who have been discarded and abused. The big picture is often overwhelming, and yes, it makes us feel helpless. It seems like no matter where we live, whether in the United States or another country, there are so many animals that need us. And those people that decide to spend not only their time, but the resources they have deserve recognition. Meet Dan Porter from Western Illinois Animal Rescue in Monmouth, Illinois, our latest stop on the Adventure Of A Lifetime.
When we made our travel plans to Illinois, it was important for us to take the back roads. No, not literally, but we wanted to pick a rescue or shelter to visit that was not well known. One that would speak to our fans and hopefully make them realize that EVERYTHING they do to make a difference matters. It contributes to the big picture of helping animals.
Dan from WIAR certainly is contributing. You may relate to Dan in more ways than you can imagine. And we hope that it inspires YOU, no matter where you live to contribute in your way too. We enjoyed our time with Dan and his volunteers, some of whom even worked at his body shop, some from the community, and the local animal control officer even showed up to meet us as well! Monmouth, Illinois should be inspiring to all of the rescue community, showing how everyone can work together to accomplish big things, even if in a small town.
Dan may be a man of few words, but everything he does for the animals in his area of Illinois speaks volumes. Dan currently runs WIAR next to his secular business, Dan’s Body Shop in Monmouth, Illinois. With wonderful support from his community and for his local animal control, he is succeeding in many ways. Dan said he had some empty space here, saw a need, put some kennels up and WIAR was born.
Dan and his volunteers agreed to play the latest episode of “Stop Hounding Me”. You will truly fall in love with this small rescue in Monmouth, Illinois and one of the animals they have for adoption, Achilles. Achilles was acquired by Dan after he received a call stating his owners were moving and leaving a dog behind. They gave the address and left. Dan rescued Achilles and Achilles absolutely deserves all the love in the world. We are hoping he finds that very soon.
According to their website, “Western Illinois Animal Rescue was founded in 2000 by a group of caring citizens from Warren County who wanted to help animals in need. WIAR is a “no kill” organization…We are 100% volunteer operated”.
With organized events and work, WIAR was able to raise enough funds to build a shelter on the land that Dan owns here next to his body shop.
The excitement was apparent on Dan’s face as he showed us the plans. We couldn’t help but share his excitement! Yes, the animals here now, and in foster homes have been saved. But Dan wants to help more and this shelter will certainly do that! They plan to break ground in Spring of 2017. We cannot wait to see their progress.
When we pick a rescue or shelter to visit on this mission and trip, it must be obvious to us that they are doing all they can to help animals not only in a caring way, but an organized way on social media and online. Dan realizes the power that a fan following can have on Facebook and updates their page regularly in addition to all of the other work and duties he has not only as a business owner, but as the President of WIAR. He goes above and beyond to help his animals like Gus that we met. When animals cannot get the care that they need at animal control, or are injured, Dan and his rescue often take these animals to receive this care, paying out of their own pockets. When Dan told us about Gus, his concern and absolute love touched our hearts.
Gus came to WIAR needing much medical treatment. On the day we arrived, Gus had been through two surgeries, and Dan’s staff was taking care of and doting on Gus in a way that touched us so much. All animals are a life, and all animals deserve a chance at a good life. It was apparent that Dan believed Gus mattered and that Gus could get better. With care like he was receiving, Gus is having every chance he can get. Gus will be available for adoption when he gets all better!
One of the ways Dan is successful in helping the animals in his community is by working closely with the local animal control and its caring animal control officer, Robin. Dan visits or speaks with animal control daily to see what animals have arrived or how he can help. They have a mutual, respectful relationship that allows them to find homes for or transfer animals to other no-kill shelters. There are no egos when it comes to animal rescue for those that are truly successful. We have seen the most successful shelters and rescues in fact are ones that work with other organizations for the betterment of the animals. Because isn’t that what is most important?
We were able to meet one of the dogs who is up for adoption through WIAR and who you saw in our video. Dan told us that Achilles had been here “too long” and it was apparent to us how much he wants to see this big boy in a forever home he deserves. We do too.
We at 2 Traveling Dogs have always believed that highlighting the good and positive side of animal rescue is important. If you find yourself dwelling on all the animals you could not save, it would be hard to go on. Examples like Dan Porter and WIAR in Monmouth, Illinois taught us a valuable lesson. That the very big picture of animal rescue is made up of small portraits. Every portrait is beautiful. Every portrait is needed. No one person, rescue or shelter can help every animal in need. But each of us, doing our part, like Dan in Monmouth, Illinois is a beautiful example of how you can make a difference.
Where would Achilles or Gus have ended up without Dan? If you don’t think the help you provide to animals makes a difference, you are sorely wrong. Dan is proof of that. A man with a heart of gold using his resources, his business, his expertise and his love is making a difference not only in Monmouth, Illinois but to all the rescue world.
Thank you to Dan, WIAR and all his staff, volunteers and the Warren County Animal Control for showing us around and making us with Brickle and Digby feel welcome. If you have been touched and find it in your heart to contribute in some way to this wonderful Illinois rescue, follow the links below.
Western Illinois Animal Rescue is a 501(c)(3) organization.
P.O. Box 145