Daily Express driver Kevin Rutledge trucks for our canine companions

Kevin Rutledge, 58, is not just a full-time trucker for Daily Express – he’s also an animal lover. For five years, Rutledge and his wife have rescued abused and abandoned Chihuahuas and currently own four of the small-breed dogs. “Four is all we can handle now,” Rutledge says. “Two of them ride in the cab with me, and the other two ride in my wife’s car while she follows me on my trips.”

Each of the Chihuahuas (Niko, Patches, Hemi-royd and Angel) has its own survival story. Niko was abandoned in Houston, a car hit Patches when he was 9 months old and Hemi-royd was born with a deformed leg. Angel’s previous owners decided after 5 months of keeping her that they didn’t want her anymore.

“The owners were going to put Hemi-royd down because he was deformed,” Rutledge says. “I just couldn’t let that happen.”

Rutledge also temporarily takes in Chihuahuas when current pet owners can’t afford to care for them. “It doesn’t bother me to help out like that,” Rutledge says. “People ask me how I can do this, and I tell them I take the animals just as they are, problems and all, and give them love and care. That’s all they really need.”

I haul 122-foot power wind generator blades in my white 2007 Volvo 780.

My hobbies include sail boating. Up until a few years go, I lived on a sailboat in the Galveston Bay, off the Texas coast.

I have been trucking since 1977, and I served for 30 years in the Army reserves and the Army, driving tanks and trucks. I’ve been on four tours of Vietnam and one tour of Iraq.

My advice to young truckers is buy a calculator and watch your expenses and your revenue.

My favorite place to travel is all over the U.S. In the fall, the northwest has beautiful colors, and then early spring in Utah and Texas has beautiful sunsets.

My advice to the world is have faith in yourself and have the moral fortitude to be responsible for yourself.

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