Joe, Johnny O, Batso, Big Ant, G, Angel, Eric, Des, Bruce and Robert formed Rescue Ink in 2008. Since then, they have rescued abused and neglected animals, chased down stolen dogs and taught young people about compassion for animals. This fall, the all-volunteer group stars in a National Geographic reality television show.
Riding along and documenting the group's missions was Diane Flaim, author of "The Holistic Dog Book." She weaves the bikers' various personalities and escapades together for a compelling read in "Rescue Ink: How Ten Guys Saved Countless Dogs and Cats, Twelve Horses, Five Pigs, One Duck, and a Few Turtles."
Read an excerpt of the book below, and head to the "GMA" Library for more good reads.
The Piper aircraft taxied up to the hangar at Republic Airport, a small suburban airport in Farmingdale, New York, on the westernmost edge of Suffolk County. Scheduled to arrive from Murray, Kentucky, at 11:30 P.M. on a windy Sunday in February, the plane had been delayed by ice formation on its wings. After landing in Pennsylvania for an hour-and-a-half detour into a heated hangar to melt the ice, the pilot had finally arrived in New York at 1:00 A.M. Even before his aircraft rolled to a stop, the pilot was eager to be back in the sky. He was far behind schedule, and his sole goal was to drop off his cargo—two muscle-bound men and one strange-looking dog.
The door of the small propeller-driven plane opened, and G emerged, carrying some duffel bags and two sets of noiseblocking headphones. He looked relieved to be on solid ground again, and exhausted after some twenty hours of round-trip flying. It seemed impossible to him that he had left Republic Airport at 7:30 the morning before. It felt like a week had passed.
Then Joe ducked out of the impossibly small-looking aircraft. The pilot helped him open a small door on the side of the plane that accessed the cabin. Joe reached in and then leaned in deeper, struggling to remove something from the cabin. Finally, he extracted a medium-size red dog wearing a harness so new it still had its price tag attached. He set the wriggling animal down on the tarmac.
The dog shook himself good-naturedly and wagged his tail. He had very little fur on his face, which was mostly covered with large patches of shiny pink skin. He had no outer ear fl aps at all, and his ear canals were so swollen, they bulged out of either side of his head. He looked more like a walrus or a seal than a dog, but that's what he was: Rescue Ink's new clubhouse dog.
On January 31, 2009, an emaciated red-nosed pit bull wandered into a garage in Murray, Kentucky. When the homeowner returned, she found him there, getting along placidly with her own two dogs. He had puncture wounds on his face and neck, and his face was so swollen he looked like a shar-pei. He had once had ears, but they had been cut or torn off, leaving ragged ribbons of cartilage framing his skull. That soon became his temporary nickname: Ribbon.
The homeowner took the dog to the Humane Society of Calloway County, which arranged to have him boarded at a veterinary office, where he was given antibiotics and pain medication. The strips of flesh that were all that remained of his ears were neatly trimmed and sutured. He just needed time—time to gain weight and for the many wounds on his head, neck, and legs to heal.