Dan Wooten was working on switching hardware at a Dixie Electric Power Association substation recently when something outside the fence line caught his eye.
“Two little bitty black puppies had run out to see what I was doing,” he recalled.
“Someone had thrown them out, and they were living in the culvert of our substation. They were skin and bones.”
Wooten, a district supervisor at the Waynesboro, Mississippi-based co-op, gathered up the pups and gave them the apt names Dixie and Electra.
While dropping the two strays off at the Wayne County Animal Rescue League, Wooten learned that the group was seeing a surge in homeless animals and needed to build more kennels. It spurred a co-op team effort to help the growing nonprofit.
“We love to do community projects,” said Pollyanna Magee, Dixie Electric’s community relations coordinator. “Anytime we have a project like this, all our guys are more than willing to help.”
A crew of eight Dixie Electric operations workers volunteered a half day to build 10 kennels out of heavy wire fencing and perform other tasks.
“We took old [kennels] down and built some new ones,” said Lucas Laird, an apprentice lineman who has two dogs of his own. “We also dug holes and set poles for a privacy fence.”
“Some dogs moved in before we left,” added Wooten.
Sadly, Electra could not be nursed back to health and died. Dixie remains under the care of the rescue group.
Wooten said he hopes to see more community support to keep the organization going.
“All our members realize it’s an issue—too many dogs in the area,” he said. “They’d like to have somebody to call to take care of them. Hopefully, the rescue group will get enough volunteers to keep it up.”
Cathy Cash is a staff writer for NRECA.