SHAWNEE, Oklahoma – A rescue mission sent two dozen unwanted animals out of Oklahoma and on to Colorado. Most of the 26 dogs and cats were pulled from the Shawnee Animal Shelter and would have been put down without intervention.
Volunteers spent the day crating the animals, picking up others from foster homes and grabbing last-minute health certificates so they can cross state lines.
“We are really crunching today on time,” said volunteer Vetha Newby.
The cats, kittens, dogs and puppies have an afternoon airport departure to Colorado.
“We just need a little more time, but it doesn’t work that way, does it,” Newby told News 9.
The majority of the animals came from the Shawnee Animal Shelter, which performs euthanasia by gas when animals aren’t adopted or claimed.
The shelter worked with the volunteer group Friends of Shawnee Animals (FOSA) so the dogs and cats could be shipped to rescue groups and permanent homes in Colorado.
A litter of Beagle-mix puppies was added to the group after someone discovered them at a local flea market.
“They are going to foster-based rescues and then they will be adopted from there, but they are not going into a humane society.
They are going into a home until they get adopted,” Newby explained.
The non-profit organization Pilots ‘N Paws is providing the free transportation. All the volunteers have to do is get the animals to the planes.
“I hope they go up there and get a home that’s got a swimming pool and lots of kids to play with and go hiking in the mountains,” Newby said.
These emergency animal airlifts are nothing new in Oklahoma. News 9 has reported in the past how more rescue groups are sending off at-risk dogs and cats to other states to be saved.
The FOSA volunteers are hoping for more foster families so they can save more animals.
“It’s all about saving animals,” Newby added.
The planes took off safely at 4:30 p.m. from Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City and should arrive in Colorado at seven o’clock.