Jen McFadden and Raider, a racing hound/terrier mix, who made himself right at home at Joel McFadden Designs pending adoption. Below, a vanload of animals saved from southern shelters makes a stop in Somerset County. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)
By DANIELLE TEPPER
Its approximately 11 p.m. on a brisk fall Friday night when an unmarked white van pulls into a shopping center parking lot. Under the glow of a street lamp, a half-dozen people wait impatiently to get their hands on whats inside.
To a passerby, it might appear that a shady operation is taking place. But when the side door slides open, it doesnt reveal drugs or stolen appliances. Instead, the van is stacked crate-upon-crate with wildly barking dogs.
The van is a transport, part of an independent rescue mission and underground railroad of sorts. The people waiting are new foster caretakers and adopters of these starving and scared animals that have been saved from certain death at southern animal shelters.
Among them is Red Banks Jen McFadden, who has been a proactive member of this cause for almost two years and her résumé includes over 250 rescues.