20 shelter dogs rescued, transferred by charter flight to Wisconsin for new life

Shelter Dogs Rescued, Take Charter Flight to Wis.After Tropical Storm Hilary left the Coachella Valley Animal Campus inaccessible to the public, several animal welfare organizations partnered up to fund the transfer of 20 dogs out of the shelter and fly them via chartered plane to Dane County Humane Society in Wisconsin for adoption.

“When it comes to pet adoptions, every day is critical for ensuring that the pets in our care will have a positive outcome. With our Coachella Valley campus closed, our top concern was that the animals, especially our large dogs, could languish in the shelter without a chance for a new and loving home,” said Erin Gettis, director, Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

The shelter overcrowding experienced in Riverside County and nationwide added to the concerns felt by animal services officials.

Various organizations banded together to make a rescue happen in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Hilary, including Bianca Rae Foundation; The Grand Paw; Humane Society of the Desert; Loving All Animals; and Wings of Rescue, a non-profit volunteer organization that transports pets to safety via chartered flights.

“We are very happy to partner with Wings of Rescue and Riverside County Department of Animal Services to help these dogs find new beginnings in Wisconsin,” said Lisa Bernard, DCHS’s Public Relations Coordinator. “Shelters and rescues continue to struggle with high intakes, overcrowding, and slower adoptions. We know how much our community cares about animals. We hope they will open their homes or tell their family and friends about the amazing pups arriving at DCHS looking for new homes so we can continue to save more lives.”

Twenty dogs, many of them German Shepards and Siberian Huskies, housed temporarily at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus were cared for and crated early this morning before making the trek to the Ontario International Airport where the Wings of Rescue crew waited to receive the pets. The flight left shortly after 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14 and is expected to arrive in Wisconsin by mid- to late afternoon.

Wings of Rescue flies wherever we’re needed to help at-risk pets and, in this case, we’re thrilled to be taking mostly large dogs today,” said Ric Browde, President and CEO of Wings of Rescue. “Big dogs can be hard to place into new homes and we know these wonderful pets from the County of Riverside are going to new homes in Wisconsin, where there happens to be greater demand.  Sometimes the only thing standing between an unwanted pet in one place and a new home somewhere else is a flight on one of our planes.”

According to Gettis, large dogs are the population most contributing to overcrowding in shelters in Riverside County and across the country. This can be due to many factors, including housing and financial limitations and a lifestyle that is not compatible with the needs of larger, more energetic dogs.

Wings of Rescue husband-and-wife pilots Kale and Anji Garcia planned for the large number of big dogs on this flight, and just managed to get everyone in. All pets on Wings of Rescue flights fly in separate crates with water and are fully vaccinated to meet intrastate travel requirements. Wings of Rescue planes are fully pressurized, and temperature controlled to assure the pets’ comfort during the flight.

Those interested may track the flight in real-time by visiting https://www.flightaware.com/ and entering plane’s tail number N684AK.

Visit www.rcdas.org.


Photo Caption: Several organizations partnered up to fund the transfer of 20 dogs out of the shelter and fly them via chartered plane to Dane County Humane Society in Wisconsin for adoption.


Image Sources

  • Shelter-dogs-board-charter-flight-: RivCo Department of Animal Service