Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Donations sought to help volunteers bring rescued Beagles from Ohio to Portland by Christmas.

COURTESY PHOTO: NIK MILES - Automotive journalist Nik Miles will be donating his animial rescue vehicle to Basset and Beagle Rescue of the Heartland as part of his mission.This holiday season, several local automotive journalists are teaming up to save some midwestern shelter dogs and find homes for them here in Portland. Teams of journalists have volunteered to drive a donated vehicle across America and bring rescue dogs back to Oregon.

Local radio personality Nik Miles hosts Our Auto Expert each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on AM 860 KPAM, but he is also devoted to Samwise, his pet Beagle. A couple weeks ago, Miles learned that there was a newly rescued Beagle in Omaha, Nebraska, who needs a home. At the same time, Miles noted that the rescue organization,{obj:67883:Basset & Beagle Rescue of the Heartland}, was desperately in need of a vehicle to support their operations. Miles decided to donate his truck to the rescue organization and adopt the Beagle.

Animal rescue vehicles

As it happens, Miles had partnered with Nissan back in 2018 to show how a Nissan Titan pickup truck could be modified to serve as a rescue vehicle to save and transport animals after natural disasters. Many times, household pets get the worst of a disaster. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana SPCA estimated that 15,500 animals required rescue and that 80 to 85 percent of these animals were never reunited with their owners.

The truck Miles created was named PAWS One. The project led to the founding of Animal Rescue Rigs, a 501(c)(3) charity created to encourage the development of animal rescue vehicles. In addition to its primary mission, the charity strives to create a sense of community by encouraging outreach and education at local adoption events, auto shows and automotive dealer outreach. COURTESY PHOTO: NIK MILES - Nik Mies is among the automotive journalists heading to Ohio to rescue Beagles, including the one he is adopting. "The donation of the PAWS One animal rescue rig will give us not only an official Basset and Beagle vehicle that can be used to secure and transport dogs," the rescue stated in a press release, "it will also make us capable of responding in case of an emergency, as we have been requested to do in the past when tornados have struck the area."

Operation Frodo

Miles plans to name his new dog Frodo, to go with Samwise. To make the vehicle donation and adoption happen, he turned to the community of automotive journalists and automakers to see if anyone was willing to help drive the truck to Omaha and return with the dog.

The response was overwhelming. Several journalists, including Jeff Zurschmeide of the Portland Tribune, made plans to drive sections of the route. Each team of two journalists will pick up and hand off the truck at airports along the way. They will also visit local TV stations and other media outlets to highlight the needs of shelter animals. Once the truck is dropped off in Omaha, Jeep has offered to lend Miles a new Grand Wagoneer to drive home with Frodo.

As it happened, donating his truck was just the beginning. The rescue agency is over its capacity with dogs this year, and Miles agreed to bring several more Beagles to new homes in Oregon. If all goes according to plan, the new dogs will be here in time for Christmas.

"People are donating money for gas, food, and hotels so that we can get the vehicle to Omaha," Miles said. "This does not include the time that journalist drivers donate and the air miles they use to get to and from their driving points at the event. When we arrive in Omaha, we will hand over PAWS One and borrow the Grand Wagoneer from Jeep. Then we'll drive back to the west coast with Frodo and other rescue Beagles."

COURTESY PHOTO: NIK MILES - Samwise, the dog currently owned by automotive journalist Nik Miles.

You can help

If you would like to help out with Operation Frodo, tax-deductible donations can be routed through Animal Rescue Rigs. Animal rescues and shelters here in Portland also need donations throughout the year.

Alternatively, if you're considering a new pet this year, adopting a shelter animal is always a good idea. At this time, all the Beagles headed to Oregon as part of Operation Frodo have adoptive homes waiting for them, but many more shelter animals here in Oregon remain in need of permanent homes.

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