New Leash on Life

Cloud Nine Dog Rescue Flights

Have you ever heard of Cloud Nine Dog Rescue Flights, or other similar groups? I had not until I ran across a write-up by Margo Ann Sullivan for the Potter Rescue League in Rhode Island. Cloud Nine operates flights out of Williamsport, PA, and is dedicated to eliminating euthanasia of animals by flying them to where they are wanted. Cloud Nine is one of many such organizations nationwide. Most can only move one or two animals at a time, but Cloud Nine has a larger airplane that can take 10 to 20 on any given flight. They have been in operation now for about 30 months, and have flown over 1,000 animals to new homes. Here are some excerpts concerning the Cloud Nine Dog Rescue Flights:

Middletown, R.I. – Her story started on a North Carolina veterinarian’s doorstep where she was dropped in a box with her littermates. But Kisses, a black and tan hound puppy, and her brothers and sisters were bound for happier days. They all found new homes in the Northeast, and she became the 1,000th dog to ride the rescue transport from North Carolina to the Potter Animal League.

The 16-week-old puppy and an assortment of other dogs from the Mitchell County Animal Shelter in Spruce Pine, N.C. received celebrity treatment when their private plane landed at the Col. Robert F. Wood Airpark. On the way to new homes in Rhode Island, the dogs were surrounded by news reporters, photographers and a throng of well-wishers.

The animals flew with Cloud Nine, the rescue flight organization based in Pennsylvania.

Ted Dupuis, founder of Cloud Nine Rescue Flights, flies about four transports a year to the Middletown, R.I. airport, according to M. Christie Smith, executive director of the Potter League.

Within a week, Kisses and the other puppies were adopted, Smith said. But if the dogs had stayed in North Carolina, the story might not have had a happy ending. “If we don’t move the pets we move, they die,” Dupuis said. “It’s that simple.”

Dupuis founded Cloud Nine to stop euthanasia at U.S. shelters, he said.

In its first 30 months in the air, Cloud Nine has moved more than a thousand pets to destinations across the U.S. and Canada. After the Joplin, Mo. tornado, for example, Dupuis teamed up with the ASPCA and flew 52 cats to Seattle, Wash. where new homes awaited them. Cloud Nine also took 47 Chihuahuas cross-country on a 12-hour trip from Los Angeles to New York.

Most passengers are dogs and cats, he said, but he has also worked with the International Fund for Animal Welfare and flown veterinarians and veterinary technicians to remote sections of northern Canada to care for animals in need.

“We have flown dogs rescued from being buried alive by their owners, ones that survived being bait dogs, ones that didn’t make the cut during hunting dog tryouts.”

But the typical flight, which costs $2,500, sends 15 dogs from an overcrowded shelter in the southeastern U.S. to a rescue in the Northeast. The main reason U.S. dogs face euthanasia, he said, is due to living in an area of pet overpopulation.

Since 2005, over 1,000 puppies have been sent from Spruce Pine’s shelter to the Potter Rescue shelter in RI. Spruce Pine is in a very economically depressed county with high unemployment, and not all can afford to have their dogs spayed and neutered, so there is a surplus of available puppies. In New England, the spay/neuter programs have been very successful, so there are almost no unwanted pups. Up until the flights started about a year ago, they were moved by car. Now they are sent about 4 times per year by the Cloud Nine Dog Rescue Flights.

Read the entire article here. Do you know of any animal rescue transport (by any method) groups in your area? If so, please share them in a comment below.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

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