Cross-Country Truckers Carry Precious Cargo to Loving Families

When 69-year-old truck driver Sue Wiese heard about the hundreds of pets that had been displaced from their homes after Hurricane Katrina, she knew she had to do something about it. In 2005, Wiese started Operation Roger, a Texas-based nonprofit made up of volunteer truck drivers that rescues animals and transports them to new homes.

“We’re a ragtag group of pet lovers who want to help pets who already have a home to go to, give them some T.L.C., and a hitchhike to get there,” Wiese said. “My heart was just breaking from all the stories about the pets [after Katrina]. I was driving down the road and I was praying, ‘Lord, what can I do? I’m just a truck driver.’ And then I heard one word: Transport.”

And transport she did! To date, Wiese and her fellow truckers have saved over 700 animals, including pets that come from kill shelters and abusive homes. Take Shelby, for example: A 5-year-old Pekingese that was rescued from unhealthy living conditions in Oklahoma. When Operation Roger found a home for Shelby, David Binz, one of the group’s volunteers, picked the dog up in Oklahoma, drove down to Texas to load cargo and then started the long journey to Alaska, where the family was waiting with open arms. It took him 9 days.

“It’s a good way that truck drivers in America can give back to society because we’re not home a lot,” Binz pointed out. “We can’t do a lot of volunteer projects, but this is something that we can do.”

That’s something worth tooting a semi-truck horn about. For more information on Operation Roger, visit their website here.

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