North Idaho

SoCal puppies transplanted to North Idaho thanks to Wings of Rescue

HAYDEN, Idaho - Puppy rescue vo

Dogs living in high population kill shelters in California are being shipped to other Humane Societies around the northwest that have room to spare in a program called Wings of Rescue.

Last Saturday, volunteer pilots flew 32 puppies in to the Kootenai Humane Society in Hayden, the first time they've participated in Wings of Rescue.

"Saturday was an unbelievable day, we had so many volunteers come out to help, the staff was so excited about it and to see those little guys come off of that plane was unbelievable," Vicky Nelson with the Kootenai Humane Society said.

This is the first time the Kootenai Humane Society has participated in the program, and the 32 dogs that were flown in Saturday, probably won't be here long.

"The phone has just been ringing off the hook people wanting to know when these dogs are going to be ready," Debbie Jeffrey, director of operations with the Kootenai Humane Society said.

Pilots from Van Nuys, Calif. volunteer their time, talent, and planes to ship these dogs out of California. The problem is small dogs like Chihuahuas became very fashionable down there. But when they got bigger they were less fashionable unfortunately.

"When they get too big like some of these are they are too big for a purse, so they end up in the shelters," Jeffrey explained.

Jeffrey says those shelters are beyond full and most of them euthanize. Meanwhile people in our area are looking for small dogs but they're hard to find in most of our animal shelters.

"We figure that we might as well bring some dogs up from places that were deemed to be euthanized to save them," Jeffrey said.

You might wonder, why bring more dogs into the area? Aren't there plenty of dogs that need homes already? Last year the Kootenai Humane Society took in 2,150 dogs and their staff found homes for all but 20 of them.

And they're looking forward to using Wings of Rescue again.

"Absolutely, if we have the space we will take the dogs," Nelson said.