Stillwater agent loans personal car for rescue dogs

When Brad and Molly Nemec’s Dodge Durango broke down in downtown Stillwater last month, they called City Hall to explain it would be stranded overnight.

The couple from Lindstrom, Minn., Who are rescuing Jindu dogs for slaughter in Korea, were on their way to retrieve six dogs in Wisconsin when their SUV overheated near Teddy Bear Park.

Brad Junker, a community services officer with the Stillwater Police Department, recently loaned his personal vehicle to a couple doing dog rescue work. (Courtesy of Brad Junker)

The dogs, transported from Seoul to Chicago, had been picked up at O’Hare International Airport by a friend of Nemec’s. The friend had planned to meet the Nemecs near the Wisconsin Dells, halfway between their home and the Chicago airport.

“We called and asked them not to tow us,” Molly Nemec said. “We were trying to hire a car, but all rentals were full because it was the holiday weekend. We needed one big enough to hold six dog kennels.

Brad Junker, the community services officer for the Stillwater Police Department, went to check on the Nemecs at around 2 p.m. on June 30.

“Their hood was up,” Junker said. “I asked if there was anything I could do – if they needed food or if they needed water.”

Molly Nemec started to cry as she told Junker about their situation.

“She explained that they could miss their meeting point and didn’t know what to do,” he said. “They were trying to get in touch with people in Lindstrom… and they just were out of luck.”

Junker, who owns a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban, soon realized he could help. He went to get it and let them borrow it for their rescue mission.

“I don’t know; it just seemed like the right thing to do,” Junker said. “I said, ‘Why don’t you just take my vehicle? I have to work another four or five hours. won’t use. He’s just sitting in the parking lot, so why don’t you use him? “”

Elementary school counselor Molly Nemec, 40, said she couldn’t believe his offer. She made him say it twice.

“He said, ‘Sure, take my car, if that’s all you need,’” she said. “He didn’t even know us, and that’s when he said, ‘I’m going to go get my Suburban for you to use.’ … He was back within eight minutes and he just handed us the keys.

Junker warned the Nemecs that a tire was low and the tank was nearly empty. They went straight to Lucky’s Station on North Main Street and “filled the tank and put air in the tire, and we’re driving on I-94 and we’re looking at each other, and we’re like, ‘What? just happened? ” Said Molly Nemec, who volunteers with Ruff Start Rescue in Princeton, Minn.

“My husband said, ‘You know he had to be an angel in disguise,’ she said.

Junker, 47, who lives in Stillwater, said he was moved to learn of the couple’s rescue work and knew his daughter, Molly, 18, would be too. She had just told him about the controversial annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China, where thousands of dogs are herded and slaughtered for food.

“She’s the greatest animal lover you can imagine, and I knew she would be beside herself if she knew we could help her somehow,” Junker said. “I was just glad they said they (would use my vehicle). Honestly, I didn’t feel it was that bad. It just seemed like enough bad things had happened; let’s do something right.

Molly Nemec poses with Lilac, one of six Jindu dogs she helped rescue from Korea, in this photo taken on June 30, 2017. Brad and Molly Nemec's car broke down in downtown Stillwater as they were on their way to pick up six dogs in Wisconsin.  Brad Junker, a community services officer with the Stillwater Police Department, loaned his personal vehicle to the Nemecs to retrieve the dogs.  (Courtesy of Molly Nemec)
Molly Nemec poses with Lilac, one of six Jindu dogs she helped rescue from Korea, in this photo taken on June 30, 2017. Brad and Molly Nemec’s car broke down in Stillwater while they were on their way to pick up the dogs in Wisconsin. (Courtesy of Molly Nemec)

The Nemecs returned Junker’s SUV – with a full tank of gasoline – around 10 a.m. that night. Junker and his daughter also met the six dogs – Maple, Monarch, Lilac, Laker, River and Honeycrisp – before they were taken away by their foster families.

“All the adopters got to see him and sing his praises,” Nemec said. “He saved the day.

The dogs, which look like a cross between a yellow Labrador and a Siberian husky, are available for adoption via Ruff Start Rescue, says Nemec.

Junker, an eight-year veteran of the police service, is “known for getting things done,” Police Chief John Gannaway said. “He’s very good at it. He just does little things in the community that he is not recognized for.

Nemec wrote an article praising Junker and shared it on the town’s Facebook page.

“I have to admit I’m a little overwhelmed and kind of embarrassed by the attention, when I felt like all I was doing was offering a simple solution to someone who was having a bad day.” , Junker said.

“I am number 6 of seven children raised by Don and Shirley Junker, who have shown us time and time again to help wherever you can – and each of whom probably would have offered the same solution to the Nemecs,” he said. declared. “I am my father’s son.

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