Nearly 50 homeless dogs and cats were loaded onto a plane at Riverside Municipal Airport today and flown north to destinations where they'll be granted a ``new lease on life.''
``These are highly adoptable pets,'' Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh told City News Service. ``The goal here is to save as many lives as possible.''
Welsh said 30 dogs and 17 cats were removed from the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley and placed aboard a Pilatus PC-12 turboprop operated by Livermore-based Wings of Rescue, whose pilots transported the pets to two shelters -- one in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, and the other in Spokane, Washington.
``There were a lot of mixed breeds, terriers, Chihuahuas, large and small,'' Welsh said, adding that none of the animals have behavior issues, and all are in good health. They're going to spots where there aren't a lot of dogs, particularly certain types, like Chihuahuas,'' he said. ``We have a lot of Chihuahuas in Southern California. But that's not the case in other places.''
According to the animal services spokesman, Wings of Rescue has a ``no- kill'' policy, guaranteeing that even if the canines and felines aren't adopted out from the shelters to which they've been transferred, they will not be euthanized. ``They'll have a home, regardless,'' Welsh told CNS. ``They face an uncertain future here, because of their age and other factors. Now they're getting a new lease on life.''
Along with Wings of Rescue, the Valley Village-based Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team and the New York City-based American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals helped coordinate the relocation. Additional flights are planned in the future. More information is available at https://www.wingsofrescue.org/.
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