It’s right at 1,000 miles from his 70-acre farm in Harvard, Illinois to Benton, La., but it’s a trip Gregg Rang has made a half dozen times. And, if he has his way, it will be only the next of many more.
To say Rang is an animal lover would be to understate the term. He and his wife of 54-years have opened their acreage to a variety of animals that, in many circles, would be considered unadoptable.
“They’ve got room to roam and explore at the farm,” he said. “We have open fields, creeks and ponds. It’s a great environment for them to enjoy the life they have now.”
Included in his menagerie are eight dogs (four from Louisiana), including four that had been scheduled for euthanasia. One of those animals, a now-Rang family member named Katie, introduced Rang to the person who has become the local contact for his passion for helping the helpless.
“I came down here about four years ago to adopt an absolutely unadoptable pet,” Rang remembered. “My wife asked me to find a dog no one wanted. That’s when I came to the Bossier City animal shelter and met Judy (Stewart). It was my last stop of the day. I was very impressed by her care and concern for her animals. You are blessed to have Judy and Cody.”
Stewart and Cody Hughes make up the Bossier Parish Police Jury’s animal control department. She has been with the police jury a little over two months after 13 years at the Bossier City shelter. Hughes, who is only days away from attending certification classes, has been in the department since last year.
“When I found out Judy had come to the parish, I decided I wanted to help in whatever way I could,” Rang said. “These kind of departments are always in need of basic supplies, so that’s what I thought would be best to do. And to help people like Judy is a real pleasure.”
Now, Rang periodically loads his van with vitals for the animals including food and basic hygiene equipment plus whatever else “…will fit in the back…” and heads south. He buys the supplies and pays his own travel expenses. His trips and deliveries never cost the parish a dime.
On this trip, Rang delivered pallets of dog food plus a couple of items he thought would be useful.
“Judy had asked if I might be able to find some portable sinks for the dogs and cats, so I picked up some of those. I also found some stainless bowls and buckets that should last a long time,” he said.
“I’m happy to do it,” he added. “This has never cost Bossier Parish one penny. Everything is a donation. To me, that’s the way it should be. People should be willing to step up and help out when they can. We’re not here long, so we ought to do something good while we are here.”
It’s the “something good” that Rang hopes to continue as long as he can.
“You can’t take it with you, and a person should want to help someone or something,” he said. “I truly wish more people would simply do good things and expect nothing in return.”
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