How the story of one dog is helping others

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mac, you’re one inspiring dog.

He won over the heart of Rochelle Steffen, a lot of others at Mac’s Mission and people around the country. The animal-rescue organization in Jackson recently was awarded the $30,000 grand prize in the vote-based “Support the Shelters” sweepstakes hosted by the BISSELLL Pet Foundation.

Mac is at the center of a feel-good story, the face of what can go so wrong and yet end up so right. How animals can tolerate the worst, yet somehow bring out the best.

Mac sure wasn’t the pick of the litter. In fact, the pit bull weighed just four pounds at three months of age and had mange when Steffen found him advertised for adoption by a cardboard sign. He had genetic issues in his hind legs and nearly died on more than one occasion while undergoing five surgeries. Mac lived up to his pedigree, with a pit-bull mentality. Today he is a healthy, beautiful, friendly, 6-year-old inspiration.

Mac’s Mission, led by Steffen and volunteers, has been just as tough. The not-for-profit has relied on crowd-funding to maintain three sheds on its three-acre shelter.

“We’re just a scrappy little rescue,” Steffen told Southeast Missourian reporter Ben Matthews. “We have amazing people, but we don’t have a big donor or anything like that who puts a bunch of money into our organization.”

This cash from BISSELL is a big infusion for Mac’s Mission, which plans to install five kennel suites and specialized intensive-care unit with some of the proceeds. Other portions will go to spaying and neutering and aiding toward adoption fees. It’s a heartwarming boost for sure, but sadly, there are a lot of animals out there like Mac.

Fortunately, a lot of big-hearted people like Steffen, the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri and Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary are also among organizations that do a great service for animals and the community, providing valuable interim shelters until permanent homes can be found. These organizations abound with animal lovers committed to nurturing and sheltering homeless animals, but they are in continual need of manpower and money. If you can contribute, please do. And if you can provide a home, an animal like Mac will win your heart and quickly take a place as a member of the family.

“We just kind of snatched him out of a bad situation, and now he’s kind of saving the world,” Steffen said.

That a’boy, Mac! Good dog!

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