Be sure to check Louisiana’s PBS Stations on September 13 for a documentary called “Fifteen Legs” to be airing soon! The documentary is based on Bonnie Silva’s book, “Fifteen Legs”
In Fifteen Legs: When all that stands between death and freedom is a ride… Silva recounts her travels as an uninvited and sometimes suspiciously eye-balled guest aboard an Internet enabled escort service for last-chance animals.
Smitten by an inner urge to tell the public at large about the largely undiscovered world she stumbled upon, Silva writes, This notion of volunteers connecting in cyberspace on behalf of desperate, unwanted animals had stolen my heart. The thought of perfect strangers coming together and working as a team to shuttle society’s non-human cast-offs out of harms way was too wonderful a story to pass up. I had to tell it.
Along the way she encounters the heroines and heroes of the animal rescue and transport world, people like Yahoo groups list owner Brandy Holleran, bunny transport boss Jennifer Barbieri, volunteer pilot Kevin Boyle, hurricane search and rescue leader Jane Garrison, and esteemed transport coordinator Terri Epp, who performs cyber-miracles at home from her computer in Canada.
But who ARE these people, and why, after working regular jobs all week, do they willingly give up their weekends to do what they do? As Silva asks, Is this some kind of a clandestine club comprised of people I would never want to take to lunch? Or are they individuals like you and me who, feeling helpless when it comes to big picture problems, will leap at the chance to give an out-of- time animal a lift?
Through a whirlwind of voices speaking on behalf of angels wrapped in fur, Fifteen Legs shows us what can happen when a synchronized squad of strangers fuels up and hits the road. With stubborn optimism and a deep compassion for animals, Silva leaves room for everyone who wants to come along for the ride. No prior experience with shelters, pounds, or animal-people required.
Facts: Approximately 6 to 8 million healthy dogs, cats and other pets are killed in animal shelters every year. But very often a loving, adoptive home, or a temporary foster home can be found for many of these pets. Sometimes, though, that home is several hundred or even thousands of miles away.
That is where the volunteer animal transporters come in – moving animals one leg at a time, usually on a weekend. The planning is done on the Internet, and the transport is done on the Interstate! A transport coordinator (generally working along a specific Interstate corridor) plans the route and schedule for the furry passengers, and then notifies members of that transport group via e-mails. Group members can then volunteer to drive a leg of the route that is convenient for them.
Some transports are only several legs long, some are ten to fifteen legs, and occasionally a transport consists of over 30 legs, moving animals all the way from Florida to New Hampshire, or Louisiana to Oregon. Volunteer animal transport is something anyone with a car, a few hours on a weekend, and a desire to make a difference in an animal’s life can do. And, as one transporter put it, I do a transport almost every weekend because it is just so good for my soul!
Please be sure to visit The Fifteen Legs Website!