The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 9, 2010

Rescuer’s ‘heart big as earth’

The life of a rescue worker is bittersweet. On one hand, it’s sad to see the abused and neglected dogs. On the other hand, the success stories warm the heart.

“We do see a lot of horrible things,” said Kim Morgan of Oswego. “But I see the (after) photos from the rescue groups — that’s the nicest part.”

Morgan works full time as a mortgage banker in Chicago. But she also spends 30 hours a week working with 85 rescue groups across the country and Canada.

One of those groups is the Vermilion County Animal Shelter. To the staff and volunteers there, Morgan is an angel who has saved many dogs from death row by placing them in rescue groups.

“All of the happy endings you read, about 90 percent of them are through Kim’s wonderful network and this has been a Godsend to the shelter animals,” said Nancy Gulick, a volunteer with the county shelter’s foundation.

In 2009, the county shelter saved about 1,000 dogs from being euthanized, and Gulick estimated that Morgan’s help was responsible for about half that number.

She said Morgan rescued more than 3,000 animals with her nation-wide network last year.

Morgan downplays her role, however, crediting all the people involved in rescue.

“For the most part, all the groups make sure they (dogs) have a shot at life. It’s really nice,” she said.

Morgan doesn’t run a rescue group herself. Instead, she’s a placement coordinator, and has a relationship with Vermilion County, Douglas County and Champaign-Urbana, as well as a couple in Indiana and Kentucky.

Those agencies give her names and photos of dogs that desperately need homes, and Morgan matches them with foster-based rescue groups and no-kill shelters. Among the groups she uses are Eye on the Sparrow, Cause4Paws rescue, Helping Paws Rescue, Tender Loving Care Rescue, Almost Home Rescue, and Animal House, just to name a few.

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