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Meet the Drivers
Jen Lewis is a Rescue Associate for North Shore Animal League America. In this role, Jen travels to various locations rescuing animals from kill shelters and other perilous situations. She was one of the first to volunteer when the sixth strongest hurricane ever recorded, Hurricane Katrina, devastated the Gulf Coast and she helped transport close to 200 animals to safety in the first week alone. Jen played a similar role when the Emergency Response Team was sent in again to help rescue animals from the ruins of the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, Hurricane Rita.
In addition to these rescue missions helping with the transport of animals and mill dogs from out-of-state, Jen also drives the mobile unit across country for the Animal League's month-long cooperative initiative, Tour for Life, helping to promote the adoption of shelter pets while coordinating events with local shelters in various cities. 2011 is her second year on the Get Your Licks on Route 66 Tour.
When Jen is not traveling the country rescuing pets, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling for pleasure. Her four-legged family has expanded from one dog to four cats and two dogs, and she is proud to have been playing such an integral role in saving pets' lives since 2003.
James Gleason is the Off-Site Programs Manager for North Shore Animal League America. In this role, James travels throughout the country rescuing pets from uncertain fates, which include natural disasters, emergencies and puppy mills. He also plays a vital role in finding permanent homes for as many animals as possible through local adoption events, adoption tours and on-site adoption events. Prior to joining the Animal League, James was a Manager and Merchandise Buyer for Halloween Adventure in New York City. While James was happy with this career, he couldn't deny his calling for pet rescue.
James is an avid animal lover and shares his life with his three rescued Chihuahuas; 16-year-old Fauna, 14-year-old Flora and 10-year-old Fatima. When James is not passionately rescuing animals, he spends his spare time writing and enjoying the company of his adored pet family.
James has been with the Animal League since May 2009. He loves his work and feels extremely grateful to be able to have such a spiritually rewarding career.
Darrell Rhodes started volunteering with National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) three years ago and currently serves as Field Manager and Off-Site Driver based in Colorado for North Shore Animal League America. In this role, he oversees NMDR rescues and mobile adoptions. With NMDR, he has assisted in a variety of capacities, including transport coordination, building and grounds maintenance, and rescues.
Darrell is a retired Marine, who served for 20 years, and hails from Virginia. He first heard about National Mill Dog Rescue from a newspaper article and started volunteering for the organization. Darrell says, “At first I stuck around out of shame and embarrassment that animals were living in this manner. I had no idea about the treatment of mill dogs. It really got under my skin and now I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
In July, Darrell is proud to have participated in National Mill Dog Rescue’s 5,000th rescue. The animal lover is the proud foster parent of a Bulldog Boston Terrier Mutt-i-gree and a 10 year old Shih Tzu.
Dan has been an Off-Site Driver with North Shore Animal League for two years and is currently on his second cross-country tour, having completed the Tour for Life earlier this year.
He worked in animal rescue for three and a half years before joining the Animal League and feels that his work conducting off-site adoption events, emergency and puppy mill rescues, animal transports, and cross-country tours is extremely rewarding. Dan’s road trips on behalf of animal welfare have taken him to Alabama twice this year to assist with tornado rescues.
Dan, who previously served as a stagehand for ABC-TV and grew up with Golden Retrievers, enjoys reading and exercising with his dogs. His Pomeranian, Hobbes, is a dog he rescued from a Midwest puppy mill.