On a recent trip to Santa Barbara, California I was fortunate enough to encounter some great animal rescue groups and facilities. Introduced to Wings of Rescue, I was in awe of their ability and with their mission in all that they do for animals. I learned that Wings of Rescue and Dawg announced the very first Santa Barbara Airlift of 72 dogs from California shelters from the Santa Barbara Airport a few months ago. It turned out that two generous Santa Barbara residents volunteered their flying time and their planes with two other private jets from “Wings of Rescue” to fly these dogs to Idaho, Oregon and Montana where eager adopters awaited their arrival. The flight was a joint effort of DAWG (Dog Adoption Welfare Group), Santa Barbara and Ventura counties shelters.
Wings of Rescue is a nonprofit 501c3 organization that is dedicated to providing the rescue community with efficient air transportation for dogs (and cats too) that would otherwise not be saved in this overly saturated and populated area. They are a network of 20 volunteer pilots that fly these rescued pets to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and western Canada. On occasion, they also fly to the upper Midwest. Once the animals are pulled from the shelters by local rescue groups, they are flown to designated rescue groups in other states. Wings of Rescue helps give them a second chance at finding a forever home. Impressively, In 3 short years we have helped save 9428 animals from likely death.
In my line of work, so often the use of airlines is solely associated with pet relocation for people with the monetary ability to care for and fly their pets all over the world. However, not all animals are as lucky. That is why this organization provides such a wonderful and meaningful new spin on the concept of relocation. “We fly them home” is their motto. Wings of Rescue is run by pilots, who know how to organize and coordinate each mission. Their expertise helps to understand the factors and details that go into planning a safe, successful flight and use our network of ground volunteers to make loading and delivery as easy as possible for the pilot.
You can watch Wings of Rescue in action. This video highlights the Riverside County Animal Services, Animal Samaritans SPCA and Wings of Rescue as they coordinate the air rescue of more than 50 county shelter dogs from the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms, California.