Chippewa Valley animal lovers save 1,000th dog in cross-country mission

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EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - A Chippewa Valley group that's passionate about pups, reached a major milestone Sunday, rescuing its 1,000th dog in less than a year.

Every Sunday a dozen or more dogs crawl out of their cages, leaving behind what was a troubled past, and grim future.

"Some are abused, some are those fight clubs that they have with animals, we had some of them come. Some just malnourished, left in the backyard, just not fed," Mobile Mutts volunteer Julie McQuillan of Chippewa Falls said.

"Many of these animals are just way too loving and sweet to be put down. So we try to find them a new home," volunteer Tom Larson of Eau Claire said.

Over the weekend, Larson, along with 47 other volunteer drivers from the nationwide group Mobile Mutts, picked up 15 dogs from a shelter in Georgia, who were one week away from being killed.

The group moves the dogs through one-hour trips, dropping some off in Illinois and Wisconsin, and the rest in Minnesota.

"Shelters put down around 4 million animals a year. That's roughly one every eight seconds. Many of these animals are like this (dog) here. This is actually our 1,000th transport since last May," Larson said holding the dog.

Chihuahuas, bulldogs, terriers and beagles stopped in Eau Claire Sunday to stretch their legs, to get a drink and meet their next drivers on their way to Brooklyn Center, where they go to rescue and foster homes, in hopes of finding a permanent one.

"They're amazing little creatures, and I can't fathom any of them being put to sleep or any of them being harmed, so if there's something I can do to help just a little bit, I'll do it," McQuillan said.

"They're gonna make a difference in somebody's life. They're gonna mean everything to them. Just to be able to share that kind of love, changing the world a couple of paws at a time," Larson said.

Larson said the group is in need of volunteers throughout the area, and especially in the Black River Falls area.

To find out how to adopt a dog, volunteer as a driver, or donate to help in mobile mutt's efforts, go to or call Tom Larson at (715) 215-0567.

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