Photo credit: Joe McBride/Getty Images
Shelter dogs need all the help they can get, whether it’s a friendly face in an unfamiliar place, help adjusting to new pet parents, or of patience while adjusting to the rhythms and routines of their forever home. Sometimes all they need is a lift…in the sky…on a plane. That’s where Pet Rescue Pilots comes in, a nonprofit that transports pets from crowded shelters to their forever homes for free.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… old dogs!
On Nov. 5, the nonprofit offered 23 senior dogs a plane ride from Los Angeles to Eugene, Oregon — an 856-mile journey — so they could meet their new adoptive parents and settle into their home. their homes forever. “Senior”, for the purposes of this flight, meant any dog 7 years of age or older. Many were strays that had been taken in by various shelters in rural California. They were met on the ground in Oregon by four local relief organizations.
Among the inspiring stories from the trip was that of a 7-year-old dachshund named Izzy. One of her parents died and the other moved into an assisted living facility, leaving Izzy with nowhere to go. Another four-legged passenger named Mikey had lost his teeth. Then there was Ruffles, a 7-year-old child, who was a little hesitant about the plane. But on the other side of the daunting flight were doting dog parents. They had their arms ready and eager to hug them.
age is just a number
The non-profit organization planned the flight in honor of Adopt a Senior Pet Month, which takes place every November.
If you’re considering adopting (another) puppy and are wary of older dogs, Elizabeth Thompson of the Oregon Coast Humane Society says you shouldn’t be.
“When a pet is more predictable, as is the case with senior dogs, their placement also tends to be more efficient,” Thompson said in a statement. “And we find that the energy level and personality of seniors’ shelter pets work well with our own community of foster and adoptive families.”
Unfortunately, people are less likely to adopt senior dogs from shelters. According to Pet Rescue Pilots, the adoption rate for senior dogs is only 25%. Puppies, on the other hand, have a 60% adoption rate.
This is why organizations like the Gray Muzzle Organization exist. Its mission is to create a world where “every senior dog thrives and no senior dog dies alone and scared”.
He donated $3.8 million in grants to make that vision a reality, including funding this flight for senior dogs.
“Many senior dogs in rural California shelters are enjoying their golden years in loving homes thanks to the wonderful work of Pet Rescue Pilots and their rescue network,” said Lisa Lunghofer, executive director of Gray Muzzle Organization, in a statement.
In conclusion, with a bit of luck and lots of loving advocacy from those on the ground, dreams of finding nursing homes will hopefully take flight for these senior puppies.
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