Between 55 and 60 dogs will be received by Idaho Humane (Boise, ID) and Mountain Humane (Hailey, ID) on this flight. The flights are provided by the organization ‘Dog is My CoPilot’ which can make the trip from Las Cruces to Idaho in about 4 hours and who totally cover the cost of the transport - charging neither the shipping nor receiving rescue a dime! Dog is My CoPilot is based in Jackson Hole, WY and since forming 7 years ago, has flown more than 11,000 dogs out of high risk shelters to rescues who can place them in appropriate homes. All rescue partners are no-kill shelters in communities that do not have pet overpopulation, and who have progressive shelter facilities (and supported foster programs), short length of stays, rigorous adopter screening and the ability to provide behavioral or medical support, as needed.
This is the second flight in a 7-flight 2019 flying season that runs from April to October. Last month was AHS’ inaugural transport with Dog is My CoPilot. Five dogs flew on April 17th; four have been adopted and a couple have sent photos and updates. Red, a two year old female pit bull in the Marathon Shelter, was one of five dogs accepted into Idaho Humane’s renowned Inmate Dog Alliance Project (IDAPI). She is in a class of 5 dogs to go through the program and will graduate 6/29. IDAPI dogs are highly coveted, the adoption application process is rigorous, and we expect she will make a great family very happy immediately upon graduation.
The Alpine City Shelter has not euthanized a pet for space in over 5 years. A primary reason for this achievement is that AHS transports or transfers nearly 40% of all intakes in order to avoid running out of space at the shelter. The AHS Transport Program saves lives and reduces the length fo stay for pets struggling to find a home locally. The no-cost flights made possible by Dog is My Co-Pilot allow us to stretch our dollars further and help more local dogs find forever families in other communities.
By flying, the amount of time that pets are in transit is much reduced, creating a more humane transport experience for the animals. AHS Transport Coordinator Heather Hall said, “After watching the dogs fly off at sunrise, we said quick goodbyes and headed for home. I got the text message that our dogs had arrived in Idaho in a blip of signal along the O2 flats. The dogs had arrived home before we did!”
While these transports are an exciting opportunity for the shelter pets, they are only a stopgap measure in the effort to end pet homelessness. Alongside these monthly flights, AHS is part of a monthly ground transport and works closely with other rescues to move unwanted pets out of our area into communities where they can find homes. It takes an incredible amount of work, time and resources to conduct these monthly transports, and in many ways, takes a toll on our heart too.