Through the Wings of Rescue program, the Altus Animal Welfare Advocates and City of Altus Animal Control saved the lives for four Altus shelter dogs this weekend. The group flew out of Altus Saturday afternoon for Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City. Along with these four dogs, the cargo plane carried 100 crated animals.
Wings of Rescue, founded in 2009, is a non-profit organization made up of a squadron of volunteer pilots that fly rescue missions in their own planes, as well as a fleet of chartered cargo planes. The pilots organize and coordinate each mission to fly large numbers of homeless, unwanted pets long distances from shelters where euthanasia rates are low, and were homes are available.
AAWA Volunteer and Altus Welfare Committee member Brenda Mahan, along with Alyda and Clay Richardson, transported the local dogs through the Wings of Rescue Love Flight. The group departed Altus at 3:30 a.m. and arriving at Wiley Post Airport two hours later. Volunteers tearfully said goodbye to Toby, Betty, Goofy, and Simone as they boarded the planes for their new homes and loving caregivers.
Altus destroyed their animal gas chamber this week, but Oklahoma is still one of the few states where the gas chamber and heart stick euthanization are still legal and are being performed daily.
Mahan said the animals lives were saved with the help of Animal Control Officers Krissy Mahew and Katie Boston, as well as local businesses and volunteers. Wings of Rescue requires certain criteria for the animals. Animals had to obtain a medical exam, and be current on vaccinations, and pay a fee starting at $80.
Ruff Grooming of Altus gave each pet a complimentary grooming, and All Pets Medical worked with AAWA to meet the medical and shot requirements.
The City of Altus Animal Control, and Mayor Jack Smiley formed the Animal Committee with members Dewayne Martin, Perry Shelton, Chris Riffle, Chief of Police Tim Murphy, Altus Animal Control Officer Krissy Mahew and Altus resident Brenda Mahan. They have already started making positive actions for our local animals.
In 2016 Wings of Rescue hopes to fly over 16,000 pets to a new and loving home. Mahan hopes to increase the number of Altus animals to be a part of that number. Any group, business, or individual can sponsor an animal for a flight. For more information call the Altus shelter at 580-481-2285.
Reach Mary O. Esparza, 580-482-1221, ext. 2077