As Erin Morse drove into Gary Crossley Ford on Dec. 20, she became a bit emotional by what she saw in the lot at 8050 N. Church Road, Kansas City.
Morse, the founder and director at Midwest Animal ResQ in Holden, Mo., was already thrilled that Crossley Ford was playing host to a pet adoption event.
Crossley Ford went well beyond lending its facility for the adoption of nine dogs and a cat. Crossley Ford and the Dullea Linscott Foundation combined their resources and donated a van to Midwest Animal ResQ.
In addition, the van was wrapped, meaning the outside was painted with Midwest Animal ResQ logos, pictures of dogs and the phone number to reach the facility. Also, two pallets of dog food and dog toys were inside the van.
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“There were tears when we pulled into the driveway,” Morse said. “I couldn’t believe it. It is humbling and amazing to see this much support. A group as large as Crossley Ford to come and support our organization is just amazing.
“I am absolutely blown away to be able to have a safe transport vehicle. We will really be able to increase lives saved in 2015. It is absolutely amazing.”
The mission of Midwest Animal ResQ is to save as many companion animals as possible from dying needlessly, whether by being abandoned or at risk of being euthanized in other shelters. Midwest Animal ResQ does not specialize in a specific breed, but rather any dog or cat that is facing imminent danger or death.
The new van will help Midwest Animal ResQ to do more to save the lives of abandoned dogs.
“That van is going to help with transports and with vet runs,” said Carrie Bermel, vice president of Midwest Animal ResQ. “I think the biggest thing we are going to try to do with the van is pop-up adoptions at different locations just so we can give more animals exposure and get them adopted.”
Todd Crossley, owner of Crossley Ford, said the dealership supports a number of causes in the community. Midwest Animal ResQ is one that is close to his heart.
It was easy to see it on the next-to-last Saturday before Christmas. Crossley watched a number of children looking at the dogs up for adoption. His employees were just as thrilled with the event.
“Obviously, none of this is about selling cars,” Crossley said. “But at the same time, when you help your community, it comes full circle.
“You can walk around and look at all my employees. They are all energized and smiling. This is about the community, and all my employees live in this community, too. We love doing stuff like this.”
Mike Dullea, who is part owner of Crossley Ford and also runs Dullea Linscott Foundation with his wife, Lisa Linscott, is a big supporter of Midwest Animal ResQ.
“I had a company called VinSolutions, and Erin worked for me at VinSolutions,” Dullea said. “I sold the company to AutoTrader in 2011. We started a foundation and with some of the proceeds, we started supporting Midwest Animal. We started out donating some money and then we bought them a new facility.
“We support our dogs and cats. I think this is very important. We wanted to focus on animal rescue, defend the defenseless.”
Crossley said putting the phone number and logo on the van will help bring awareness to the cause of saving abandoned dogs.
Morse is not surprised by the kindness of Crossley Ford, but the magnitude of a donated van caught her by surprise.
“I grew up in the automotive industry and I know it is filled with a lot of wonderful people,” she said. “But for them to open their hearts this big and give back to their community in such a big way is really fantastic. They don’t have to do this. They are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. They are wonderful people.”
If you have a story you would like to see in Making a Difference, email David Boyce at Drive@ksctar.com