Crossing Paths Rescue Perfect Storm

Crossing Paths Animal Rescue in Cleveland, Alabama, a southern registered non-profit rescue and grass-roots organization was built from the ground up by Ms. Mary Ellen Tidwell in 2006, has grown into an incredible network of loving, caring, giving volunteers and fosters – simply, a small southern animal rescue organization of dedicated and committed caregivers wanting to provide rescues in their care with safe and comfortable environments – environments that have proven to improve their mental and physical well-being while in their care and to create environments that assist in their transitioning into forever homes. 

The organization works relentlessly around the clock at the rescue facility and within the foster network, caring for 100+ rescues in their daily care. The rescue facility is maintained impeccably as well as facilities within the foster network - staffed by veteran volunteers and fosters that attend to all the daily care and needs of all their rescues: cleaning, feeding, watering, prevention (flea/tick/heartworm), medicating (heartworm positive/after-surgery requirements) processing intakes, preparing for transports, transporting to vets and groomers, responding to adoption applications, scheduling spay/neuter, responding to stray/abuse/neglect calls, pulling animals from shelters, isolating and expanding care for surgical patients, managing facilities projects, and so much more as one could not keep up in tracking all of their activities due to their many efficiencies  … Did I mention that all of these activities can occur on a single day of the week?

THEIR GOAL: To find good, loving, forever homes for as many homeless dogs as possible. The rescues they work with are abandoned and, otherwise, have very little hope of rescue. 

 What do I now know about the animals in shelters in and around Cleveland, Alabama? The heartbreaking fact is, “no one is coming for animals finding themselves in these shelters.” “High-kill” facilities can be used for every shelter within a 100-mile radius of Blount County – many losing their lives after a 7 day wait period. To have witnessed the heartbreaking process firsthand, it has led me to seek a GoFund Me for the organization as I cannot lay at night without seeing those who are left behind and knowing Crossing Paths Animal Rescue can make a larger difference. 

What did I see in Alabama? Animal shelters nearby Blount County or Pell City, Alabama are often 50-60 highway miles from small populations, small being defined as 50-100 homes. Beyond Blount County or Pell City, Alabama, any traveler would have to drive additional distances of 50-60 highway miles in all directions to find larger populations, larger being defined as 100-200 homes. I saw that Crossing Paths Animal Rescue makes a difference – the kind that reaches you in places of your heart that you did not know existed.

CROSSING PATHS ANIMAL RESCUE DIFFERENCE: Crossing Paths Animal Rescue’s Yardley, Pennsylvania location in Bucks County, Pennsylvania serves as a satellite of Crossing Paths Animal Rescue in Alabama.  The satellite location function is to bring awareness of the availability of these wonderful dogs to folks in Pennsylvania and neighboring states and to facilitate adoptions in the Northeast where there is more demand for these highly adoptable dogs. Dogs which are adopted to people in the Northeast are transported every 2-3 weeks from Alabama to various locations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and stops along the way. Crossing Paths Animal Rescue successfully placed 1,014 rescues in 2016.

 Having recently visited Crossing Paths Animal Rescue in Cleveland, Alabama to volunteer time – the experience moved me to my very core. In all my life, I have never met a group of individuals that epitomize the very definition of selfless; caring more for the needs, wants and happiness of their rescues rather than for what they themselves need and want - unconditionally loving their rescues. These individuals are a testament that genuinely good people exist in the world and do make a difference for each and every rescue that crosses their path. I had adopted from Crossing Paths Animal Rescue 2 years ago, a rescue I named Rescue Roo, her super-hero name, and now see that her name could not be more fitting as it takes higher natures of love, patience and faith of an organization to get Roo from a shelter in Alabama – to my home, her forever home - to get any of their rescues to forever homes is herculean in effort …


Crossing Paths Animal Rescue is a registered non-profit organization, existing for the sole purpose of animal welfare, their rescues, and has been fortunate over the many years of their existence to have just enough to meet monthly expenses, treat all medical and surgical conditions that have passed their doors and solely dependent upon truly generous and responsive individuals who have helped in times of greater need – asking only when costs exceeded what a rescue can manage. Ms. Tidwell has helped saved thousands of dogs in all cases of “no one coming for them” and she continues to sacrifice everything she has in order to keep her rescue operating - even to this day…


Ms. Tidwell personally and financially undertook expansion and upgrades in specific areas of their facilities when hit with a Perfect Storm… Unexpected surgical costs for rescues in their care that exceeded $22,000 in the last two months, costs NEVER passed on to adopters; heartworm positive cases have quadrupled in the past 10 years in their local area and increased incidents of heartworm positive dogs taken from shelters in the past three months have escalated to 15 rescues at an average of $500 per rescue treatment, $7,500 in costs NEVER passed on to adopters; costs are estimated at $7,000 to replace a recently downed roof that has damaged the interior of their main facility and significantly affects their veterinarian/medical care unit; and many other unexpected costs that simply add up - costs ALL covered by Ms. Tidwell’s personal funds that were designated to complete expansion and upgrade projects – $50,000 of her own funds as an infusion to initiate projects - funds now desperately needed to complete projects. A Perfect Storm has left the main rescue facility in its wake – with construction halted, rescue is unable to pull in more dogs from shelters that are contacting the organization to provide intervention as the expansion temporarily reduced a great number of kennels normally available; daily functionality of the main rescue is disrupted due to the displacement of every day equipment and dispersed construction equipment and materials; rescues temporarily housed until the completion of construction are remaining longer in temporary conditions; and morale is lowering with each passing day volunteers and fosters enter the grounds – the lifeline of the organization.

Crossing Paths Animal Rescue is a “rescue first” to treat and care for any rescue to make them healthy, happy and adoptable - I cannot begin to imagine the heaviness upon Ms. Tidwell’s heart in deciding to save, or to save more – decision-making that evidences that the sole purpose of the rescue’s existence is to save precious souls that pass through their doors, even at personal cost and loss of faith that she can overcome the challenges now ahead of her to restore the main rescue and provide more for more rescues.

GoFund Me is not seeking to recoup any personal funds already invested as Ms. Tidwell simply would like more than anything in the world, to have her projects completed and fully operational as she had envisioned and as quickly as possible - the ability to provide safe and comfortable environments – for current rescues, for more rescues, for all rescues that cross their path.

Prior to recent events, Ms. Tidwell had cleared much land to prepare for concrete pouring to accommodate new and larger kennels in the new area, to incorporate an open play yard, to provide electric and water throughout the new complex to offer cooling and heating during changing seasons, to provide gable roofing that offers relief from the heat of the sun and shelter from the falling snow for both rescues and caretakers, and a host of other wonderful initiatives.

Life “Dares Us to Dream.” It is my heartfelt and sincere hope that GoFund Me efforts can make dreams come true… to restore an organization that impacts those who cannot speak for themselves - rescues.


Funds are needed immediately and within the next 60 days to restore disrupted rescue areas and complete expansion - to return current rescues in our care to normalcy and to accomodate overflowing shelters in our area and in neighboring states.

PLEASE COME FOR THEM… for the rescues and the work Crossing Paths Animal Rescue is doing to save lives, often in their final hour when humankind has failed them and placing them into homes where they are valued, loved and cared for family members.

I believe in heroes – I believe in an organization led by an incredible woman’s passion and dream, its most incredible volunteers and its remarkable fosters – I believe there to be a hero in all of us – I believe in YOU to be that hero!

Animal Hero of the Month: Mary Ellen Tidwell

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CrossingPaths Rescue 
Cleveland, AL
Crossing Paths Animal Rescue INC 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.