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Nova Scotia artist uses profits to rescue and transport animals – Global News Toronto

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David Johnson has been transporting animals from kill shelters and high-risk situations to foster homes full-time for the last year. He has been everywhere from northern B.C. to St. John’s, N.L.
The artist from Windsor, N.S., makes monthly trips to Quebec and Ontario and drives once a year to B.C.  Johnson estimates he’s helped close to 100 animals over the past six years.
“I rescued one dog and after nursing him back to health, he got a permanent home. It was such a happy thing and I thought, ‘Why don’t I do this transport thing more often?’ I like driving. I like dogs. Why not do both?” he says.
Johnson finds animals in need through several local rescues, like Litters ‘n Critters Rescue Society.
“He’s a very selfless person. He always thinks of other people before he thinks of himself, and he always thinks of dogs before he thinks of other people,” says Shelley Cunningham, the rescue’s president.
Johnson was working collectively with Litters ‘n Critters on Sunday afternoon when they rescued a pure-bred German shepherd, Coco, from an abusive living situation. The five-year-old canine had been left in a house alone, living in her own excrement, which was reported to the rescue.
Johnson drove the animal from Halifax to Pugwash, a two-hour drive, where she will stay with a foster family until she finds her forever home.
“She’s just a wonderful, lovely dog. And just to imagine her sitting there, no friends, no people, no nothing, and she’s just sitting there basically rotting away. And now, just for a simple drive to Pugwash, this dog is going to have an incredible life for another five to seven years. I feel good on the inside — a little warm and fuzzy,” Johnson says.
Johnson volunteers his time and fundraises transport fees online by selling prints of his original artwork, though he acknowledges there are many people who help behind the scenes.
“It’s a team sport. It’s a lot of volunteers and even the people that don’t ever get talked about. People who send you a hundred bucks for gas, nobody knows who they’re there, just randomly. That’s what makes this work. It’s this team effort,” he says.
Ally Smith, the owner of Pet Valu in Clayton Park, works with local rescues, donating food and other pet supplies. She supplied Johnson with food for Coco’s foster family.
“He’s fantastic. We literally could not do what we do without people like him. It is amazing what all these volunteers do. There are so many animals in need, so volunteers are desperately needed to do multiple things — fundraising, fostering — or so many animals would not survive,” Smith says.
Johnson is heading to Toronto to do another animal run next week.
“I don’t care where they come from. I only care to get them home.”
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