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Shelter Dogs Airlifted To Find New Homes

Madera Shelter Dogs Rosie 2015 MSDSubmitted by Robin Bell

MADERA COUNTY — Madera County shelter dogs are all set to be part of the largest animal rescue airlift of all time, says Transport Coordinator Robin Bell.

At least 40 dogs from the Madera County Animal Shelter will be taking flight on Nov. 20, joining the Annual Wings of Rescue Holiday Airlift in a record setting transport moving over 1,000 dogs out of overcrowded shelters in Central and Southern California to rescue organizations in areas that are flush with adopters.

Wings of Rescue is a Southern California based group of about 30 volunteer pilots and private planes that offer free transportation for dogs out of high kill shelters to areas that actually have a need for adoptable dogs. It’s about supply and demand.

Madera Shelter Dogs wings of rescue 2015 MSDMadera County shelter has an enormous supply of animals with almost no demand. Places such as Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Montana and Utah have the reverse situation and welcome these dogs. The mega- transport will be spotlighted on a FOX TV special “All-Star Dog rescue Celebration” airing Thanksgiving evening.

Participating in the airlift is just a part of the Friends of Madera County Animal Shelter’s (FMAS) new Rescue Transport Program. When volunteer Robin Bell joined the group it was apparent to her Madera animals could benefit from the type of rescue transport program she had volunteered with in Merced.

Madera Shelter Dogs Smee 2015 MSDWhen the idea was presented to the FMAS board they didn’t hesitate to jump on the band wagon. Soon to follow was a team of volunteers who devote countless hours and who are willing to get up at absurdly early to load dogs onto transports.

FMAS owes a debt of gratitude to the Merced group who inspired the program, New Beginnings for Merced County Animals. “They have allowed county lines to blur and share resources, contacts and transports. Without their help Madera’s program couldn’t have ever jump-started so quickly.” said Bell.

Madera Shelter Dogs Christie 2015 MSDIn just the first two months of the program over 200 dogs and puppies will be moved out of the shelter via custom pet carrying trucks and buses, FMAS vans and planes.

The pets are delivered to safe havens at rescues and humane societies throughout the North West which have speedy adoption rates.

FMAS president, Judy Wedding said of the transport program “Before there wasn’t much hope for many of our dogs but now there is”.

Madera Shelter Dogs wings of rescue II 2015 MSD“With over 7,000 animals dropped off at the Madera County Animal Shelter every year, the challenge of placing all of them is overwhelming. Now, with the assistance of dozens of dedicated FMAS volunteers, incredible rescue efforts, and adoption programs, we can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel! Hundreds of innocent animals are now HOME for the HOLIDAYS due to the partnerships between counties and these devoted rescue organizations” stated Kirsten Gross, Madera County shelter director.

The future of the FMAS Rescue Transport Program depends on help. The program is all expense with no financial return and is completely dependent on donations.

Madera Shelter Dogs Lucky 2015 MSDVolunteers are needed to help fundraise, assist in the hands on work with the dogs, arrange transports and to drive both local and out of state transports. Donations of used crates are also critical as the crates used for plane travel are typically not returned. To get involved please contact either FMAS at 559-363-5106 or Madera Animal Shelter 559-675-7891.

Robin Bell is the Transport Coordinator for Friends of Madera County Animal Shelter’s Rescue Transport Group

Link to Wings of Rescue Holiday Airlift 2015

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