Flying Home

Lo­cal an­i­mals find new homes through res­cue pro­gram

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Sarah Perry [email protected]­ton­courier.com

More than 50 an­i­mals from the Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Sa­line County were re­cently trans­ported to ap­proved shel­ters in Idaho and Wash­ing­ton state through the Wings of Res­cue pro­gram.

Be­cause the county does not have an an­i­mal con­trol depart­ment, the Hu­mane So­ci­ety ac­cepts pets from across the county.

Lo­cated in Baux­ite, a city with a pop­u­la­tion of 400 peo­ple, the Hu­mane So­ci­ety takes in four times more an­i­mals than the pop­u­la­tion, ac­cord­ing to Di­rec­tor Ann San­ders.

The Hu­mane So­ci­ety takes more an­i­mals than can pos­si­bly be adopted, so the staff has to find other means for the cats and dogs to find for­ever homes.

The Hu­mane So­ci­ety pro­vides adopt­able cats for four Pets­mart stores and par­tic­i­pates in dog adoption events at the busi­nesses.

Usu­ally, the Hu­mane So­ci­ety, through a part­ner­ship with the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals, trans­ports an­i­mals every other week to shel­ters within driv­ing distance, but be­cause of re­cent flooding across the re­gion, these shel­ters are full as well, San­ders said.

For the first time, the Hu­mane So­ci­ety re­cently participat­ed in the Wings of Res­cue pro­gram.

Satur­day, the Hu­mane So­ci­ety and Bryant An­i­mal Con­trol pro­vided 58 of the 168 an­i­mals that were taken by Wings of Res­cue to shel­ters in north­ern states.

Ac­cord­ing to Wings of Res­cue, the pro­gram “flies large-scale trans­ports of at-risk pets from dis­as­ter ar­eas and over­crowded shel­ters to shel­ters where there is empty ken­nel space and, most im­por­tantly, where no lo­cal shelter pets are dis­placed by our flights. No pet trans­ported on a Wings of Res­cue flight can be eu­th­a­nized nor can any lo­cal shelter pet be eu­th­a­nized to make room for a pet trans­ported by

Wings of Res­cue.”

Since the pro­gram started in 2013, the Wings of Res­cue has flown more than 35,000 an­i­mals. The res­cue planes have touched down in 44 states, three Cana­dian prov­i­dences, as well as Puerto Rico and both the United States and Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands.

When asked why the Hu­mane So­ci­ety participat­ed in the res­cue pro­gram, San­ders said, “So (the an­i­mals) get a re­ally good home.”

The an­i­mals trans­ported Satur­day will be taken to ar­eas that have spay and neuter laws in place. Shel­ters in these ar­eas are lack­ing an­i­mals.

“Peo­ple are wait­ing for the an­i­mals to get there,” San­ders said, adding that if the an­i­mals weren’t trans­ported, res­i­dents in those ar­eas would have to pur­chase from puppy mills.

“We are so thank­ful for every­one that helped make this pos­si­ble,” San­ders said while com­mend­ing the many peo­ple who as­sisted.

To learn more about the Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Sa­line County or to see adopt­able an­i­mals, in­di­vid­u­als can visit www.hssaline.org.

Spe­cial to The Sa­line Courier

A group of volunteers load cages con­tain­ing cats and dogs from the Sa­line County Hu­mane So­ci­ety onto a airplane Satur­day. Through the Wings of Res­cue pro­gram, the an­i­mals were taken to ap­proved shel­ters in Idaho and Wash­ing­ton.

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