An eclectic group of puppies took to the air, with the help of the Kennett Humane Department (KHD), and the air charter service, Pilots N Paws, on Sunday, headed to their new destination, Hands, Hearts, and Paws Rescue, of Omaha, Nebraska.
It was a busy day on Sunday, for both Kennett Humane Department Officers, Tena Petix and Kayla Gozell. “We were both transporting by ground and air that day,” said Petix. “We transported a total of 15 puppies, all between the ages of five to 12 weeks.” Petix said the shelter had a large number of puppies, so she was already working on acquiring a rescue for them. A new rescue had tagged 10 puppies, so she was already committed to going to Sikeston with them, when she discovered the five puppies that were destined to take to the skies. Petix said the litter had been dumped not far from the pound, out in the open in the extreme heat, and covered in fleas.”They couldn’t have been any more than five weeks old,” said Petix. “They barely had teeth and should have stayed with their mother a while longer.”
Petix was able to touch base with Debbie David at Hands, Hearts, and Paws rescue in Nebraska, but needed a way to get the puppies there. “We had worked with Pilots N Paws three or four time in the past,” said Petix. “This time, Kayla met them at Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport. The other times, we have met them in Kennett.” Kayla left early in the morning and met the pilots, Nancy and Mike, where they then flew the five pups to a town near Kansas City, Mo. From there, they were picked up by another volunteer, for the final leg of their journey to their foster home in Omaha.
Petix also said that, as a result of her own transport to Sikeston, she may have found a home for one of the pit bulls at the shelter. In fact, that connection has helped put Petix in touch with a new rescue in St. Louis, Mo., that takes pits. “They get such a bad rap,” said Petix. “I just had another one that had evidently been used to fight, because she shows signs of it. She is very sweet and shows no signs of aggression at all, and that may have been why she was so beat up. She could have been a bait dog, but we just don’t know.” Petix went on to say that the new pit gets along well with other animals. “I have no concerns about letting her near the other animals.”
Transporting animals is not easy. Petix said it is a lot of hard work and can be expensive, especially when transporting 10 and 15 puppies at a time. Over the last two weeks, KHD has transported approximately 36 dogs. “All free of charge to the city,” said Petix. “These transports are all provided through the donations we receive from generous donors.” Petix said that before a dog is kenneled at KHD, they immediately receive a 7-in-1 shot, along with flea treatment. “All of them get that because of the high risk of parvo virus and distemper,” she said. “That can wipe out a whole pound, if you bring in one infected dog.” These preventatives cost, and the city does not pay for it. “This is why donations are so important,” added Petix. “We could not do it without those donations.” She said it is required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that, before an animal can go to another individual or out of state, it has to have a rabies shot. Regulations also require that the dog be prepaid to spay or neuter.
Each state has different requirements, but all states require a health certificate before an animal may be transferred. Some states require the 7-in-1 shot, and all require rabies shots and that animals be parasite-free, including deworming, which means no fleas. Some states require the kennel cough vaccine, but Petix said local veterinarians are knowledgeable of the requirements in the various states with which KHD works. She added that a lot of the rescue shelters want to know, ahead of time, if a dog is heartworm positive, so they can prepare for it.
Petix said the veterinarians work with KHD and give them good prices on the 7-in-1 shots, flea treatments, and rabies shots, which still cost approximately $30. Acquiring a health certificate costs approximately an extra $40, so the total transport requires about $70. Multiplied by 10 dogs, the cost goes up considerably, to $700. “All of that is paid through donations, and at both vets’ offices, a record is kept with the amount of donations that come in and from whom, along with what is paid for from (the donations),” said Petix. “Anyone is free to go in and look at those records, to see how the funds are spent and on what.”
Petix said that, for such a small pound, it is very blessed. “There is no other way to say it, but without the good people, not just in this area, but across the United States, who send donations to the vets and checks in the mail, we couldn’t do it,” said Petix. “We would be like nearly all pounds across the U.S. and have a kill date, but we don’t. On record, we have to be listed as a ‘kill shelter,’ because we do get animals that have been injured, abused or neglected to the point they cannot be saved. But, to say they have a stamp that says you have five days, and six is your limit, no, we don’t do that,” said Petix. ” If it wasn’t for the donations of the medical, the food, and having a very supportive council and mayor, we couldn’t do it. The city does not know how supportive they are of the Humane Department, and they donate in time and money.” She went on to say that it’s not just the council, but also the attorneys who volunteer their time, off the clock.”
Since the Malden, Mo., City Pound recently stopped taking animals from other cities for euthanization, Petix said KHD has had to put down three animals: one cat with feline leukemia that, according to Petix, was so ill it couldn’t walk; one dog that had been badly injured from a car accident; and one puppy, with a bad case of parvo virus. “If we can save them, we do, but there are times, even our veterinarians say that it’s time,” said Petix. “You want to save them all, but sometimes, you can’t.”
Petix said KHD can always use donations, but now, because of the over abundance of puppies, they need vet donations and a lot of puppy food. She also said that, when a nursing mother comes in, they have to feed her puppy food, because of the needed nutrients.
Petix went on to say that, on Saturday, 15 or 16 more dogs will be leaving on transport, headed to rescues that will search for forever homes for the animals.