WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (localmemphis.com) — Love is in the air as hundreds of cats and dogs at-risk of being euthanized in the Mid-South fly to safety.
In the early hours of Friday, Valentine’s Day, an estimated 225 pets were loaded onto a Wings of Rescue flight out of West Memphis to no kill shelters in the Pacific Northwest.
Volunteers spent the morning, long before the sun came up, transporting dogs and cats, unloading and loading them, in the dark, windy, freezing temperatures. Most couldn’t have cared less about the cold. The love of giving the pets a brighter future kept them warm.
“I think that is so indicative of just how bad it is and how hard we have to work to try and save these pets, move these pets,” West Memphis Animal Shelter Director Kerry Facello said. “An event like today not only helps the pet but it helps all of the rescue workers. It gives them hope, encouragement and enthusiasm. It’s a camaraderie. We all have the same goal.”
More than 15 shelters and rescues from Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee brought pets from their organizations to send them to find forever homes.
“That is so significant not only to empty some of our shelters and rescues, it allows those shelters and rescues to take on more locally,” Facello said.
Wings of Rescue flies pets to no-kill shelters to get adopted. Since forming in 2012, the non-profit said it has flown more than 40,000 pets to safety. Friday’s flight out of West Memphis was only one of the stops sponsored by The Jackson Galaxy Project and Freekibble.com.
“These pets were in overcrowded shelters and when shelters get overcrowded, bad things happen. No matter how well the shelter is trying to run itself and we’re trying to prevent euthanasia,” Ric Browde, Wings of Rescue President and CEO, said.
Browde said they partnered with the Mid-South rescues because they’re trying to solve local problems.
“Because these shelters in Memphis, West Memphis and around are so humanely run and they’re trying to make a difference in the communities through education in spade and neuter, we’re going to help them,” he said.