As travelers, we might be quick to presume that long-haul truck drivers use rest areas more than anyone else. But would you guess that superheroes transporting homeless critters might be in that parking spot alongside you? As a matter of fact, it happened quite recently and it wasn’t fiction.
Oregon rest area user Jim Hill is definitely what we would call superhero material. As a resident of Stockton, California, Hill devotes his time and personal money transporting homeless dogs up and down the Interstate. Near or far, and across state lines, Hill delivers precious cargo to new homes. His non-profit organization is known as “Mudville Mutts,” and Hill’s business objective is to provide happiness to thousands of pet lovers.
A few weeks ago, Hill contacted OTE to see if our Gettings Creek Rest Area on I-5 (near Springfield) was open for travelers. OTE Rest Area staff had closed the stop briefly for plumbing repairs and Hill read about the rest area’s status on our Facebook page.
We responded with curiosity about the 33 rescue animals Hill said he was planning to drive to Oregon. “I’m bringing the dogs to volunteers at the Seattle Humane Society from Stockton,” Hill explained, “and the only difficulty is that we’re meeting up at 2:00 a.m. in-the-dark morning.”
Hill and the City of Stockton Animal Shelter staffers helped load the canine assortment for their one way, 800 mile journey up I-5.
“There were a variety of dogs, small to medium size, of all breeds, including a really pretty, white, mid-size Poodle mix, and three super cute and nice puppies,” Hill said. “At least those were the ones that stood out to me. And, there was this one hound mix pup-that barked a lot!”
Apparently Hill’s cell phone battery gave out when he arrived at Gettings Creek, so he was unable to any capture photos of his passengers. “Please use your imagination,” Hill said about the barking puppy. “Just picture the cutest dog you’ve ever seen!”
Caped crusader to canines
When we call Jim Hill a superhero, it’s not without good reason. Hill is not paid for the lengthy road trips he volunteers for, and he transports dogs hundreds of miles without compensation for his energy or fuel.
“Mudville Mutts is my effort to help in the rescue and adoption of Stockton Animal Shelter Dogs,” states Hill on his website. “I offer absolutely free transportation of dogs going to rescue groups, directly from the Stockton Shelter to the Rescue Groups, taking any dogs.”
And what gives with the name behind his organization? “Mudville was once Stockton’s name,” said Hill. “Mudville is the place mentioned in the famous poem ‘Casey at Bat’ and that is reported to have been based on actual games played in Mudville. In fact, Mudville Ports was once the name of our minor league baseball team. And besides, I think Mudville Mutts has a nice ring to it!”
Oregon Travel Experience maintains 29 clean and safe rest areas for all travelers, whether they’re the two-legged or four-legged variety. And superheroes like Jim Hill are always welcome—feel free to contact us to see if there’s any way that we can make your trip more enjoyable. Link to our “What you’ll find at Oregon rest areas” web page to read about various amenities you’ll discover when you stop.
*Note: If you would like to learn more about Jim Hill’s organization, Mudville Mutts, use this link to connect with his website.