NewsLocal NewsIn Your Parish


At-risk animals fly to their rescue in Pacific Northwest

Posted at 4:31 PM, Mar 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-17 20:57:18-04

Roughly 234 at-risk animals are flying to a second chance at finding a loving home.

Acadiana Animal Aid, a local no-kill shelter, and Wings of Rescue, a group that flies pets to freedom, partnered up to transport the animals to no-kill shelters in the Pacific Northwest.

This flight transport is a record for both organizations.

“Having an opportunity to send these animals out of state really helps us free up space in our shelter, so we can pull animals and pets from municipal shelters where they might be at risk of euthanasia,” said Jeanine Foucher, the executive director of Acadiana Animal Aid.

Volunteers spent the morning loading the crates onto the plane so that the dogs and cats can go from unwanted to completely loved by their soon-to-be adoptive families.

“The interesting thing is that the average length of stay for kittens and puppies in Seattle, Washington, is zero to three days. Adult dogs and cats: five to seven days. Here in Louisiana, our pets can stay in our shelters anywhere from 30 days to six months, sometimes longer,” said Foucher.

While most shelters in Louisiana are overcrowded, Washington has the opposite problem. Foucher  says Louisiana’s overpopulation issue is partly because there’s not many options for low-cost spaying and neutering. In Lafayette, there are two options: Spay Neuter Clinic and SpayNation.

“Spaying and neutering your pet if you’re impoverished can actually be a very pricey situation. So, in Washington state, there are tons of clinics that offer it at a very reasonable price. So, people take advantage of that, and they’ve mitigated the pet overpopulation problem,” she explained.

Wings of Rescue has saved nearly 3,000 animals this year after today’s transport and project that number to grow to roughly 13,000 by the end of the year.

“Literally, there’s going to be lines of people when we land [in Seattle]. It’s going to be like Beatle Mania when people see these puppies,” said Ric Browde, the organization’s CEO and president.

After two hours, the plane was filled and ready to take its passengers to their new forever homes.

Organizers say this is a community effort. To donate to Acadiana Animal Aid, click here. For Wings of Rescue, click here.

Receiving shelters in Seattle are: PAWS – Progressive Animal Welfare Society, NOAH – Northwest for Animal Help, Seattle Humane Society, Embrace a Discarded Animal Society, Kitsap Humane Society and Skagit Humane.

The Idaho receiving shelter is Kootenai Humane Society and SpokAnimal.