For the past ten years, Greg Mahle has driven 40,000 miles a year rescuing dogs from overpopulated "high volume kill shelters." He and fellow volunteers run Rescue Road Trips, LLC, based in Ohio. Operating primarily in the deep South, they pick up rescued dogs and take them to other areas of the country for adoption. The organization is said to help save about 2,000 dogs each year.
Every other week, Mahle leaves his wife and stepson, traveling from their home in Zanesville to Houston, Texas, where he starts to pick up dogs destined for their new homes. Moving on from Texas, he stops in nine Southern states, picking up an average of 80 dogs on the second leg of his 4,200-mile journey.
"Some of them are scared," Mahle said. "They don't know what's happening. Some have come from really bad situations, but a little love and reassurance is just what they need."
Once secured in their crates on the truck, Mahle said the dogs perk up as if they know they're off to a better life.
"It's like being in a truck full of lottery winners," he said with a laugh. "You can see it in their eyes and their disposition. They know something good is going to happen to them."