HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A man travels over 8,000 miles a month to give dogs on death row a second chance.
Greg Mahle works with rescue groups to match dogs who are on their last legs with their forever families. Every other week, he travels from Ohio to Texas and Louisiana to pick up dogs then takes them all the way to New England. It's a road trip that has meant the difference between life and death for so many dogs.
“A lot of times these dogs don't have much more than a few hours to live,” said Greg Mahle, the founder of Rescue Road Trips.
For the past ten years, Greg Mahle has made it his life's work to rescue as many as he can off death row, away from the final prick of euthanasia to give these dogs a second chance.
“Nobody wanted these dogs. They were somebody's trash. Some of them had been thrown out with the trash,” said Mahle.
Every other week, his big rig travels more than 4,200 miles across the country to pick up abused and abandoned pups then drives them to different towns in New England where these dogs' adoptive families are waiting.
And he always stops in Katy and Baytown.
“The City of Houston estimates that at any given moment they have 1.2 million dogs stray on their streets. So these dogs are in really bad situations. They're going into kill shelters. The kill shelters are going into immediate kills because it's a tidal wave of dogs coming in,” said Mahle.
He focuses on the South because strays are a severe problem here. Mahle estimates he has helped rescue at least 30,000 dogs in the past decade. But he said it's never enough.
“What I'm doing is like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon but if you go inside, if you look at any one of the dogs in there, I'm making a difference to them,” said Mahle.
As FOX 26 News met Mahle in Baytown, Save-A-Lab rescue group dropped off a couple dogs. One sweet girl in particular seemed to know she'd been given a lifeline and couldn't stop giving out hugs.
Mahle charges rescue groups $185 to transport each dog which sometimes falls short of the cost. The rest he's able to make up in donations. This week, he's picked up 35 dogs, and before he reaches New England on Saturday, he'll have 78 total.
Mahle’s work is now the subject of a new book called RESCUE ROAD: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway. The book is written by journalist Peter Zheutlin, who received his own rescue dog from Mahl. Zheutlin wanted to know more about the man who delivered his best friend to him and his family, so he hit the road with Mahle to document these dogs’ journey to their forever home.