Wings of Rescue

Do not shop. Adopt.

Seventeen rescue dogs will be available for local adoption soon as part of the largest animal rescue via airplane in the United States.
The Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (S.T.A.R.T.) is partnered with S/Nipped, a local low cost spay and neuter clinic. S.T.A.R.T. works with the organization Wings of Rescue to help save dogs from high kill rate shelters in California. Wings of Rescue contacted S/Nipped to see if they wanted to participate in this year’s historical event. Executive director of S/Nipped, Tamara McCuistion, said yes.

“I’m so happy to get to be a part of this,” McCuistion said. “These pets don’t have a voice. They need us to speak for them.”

Saturday, Dec. 7, a group of local volunteers from S/Nipped waited anxiously at Coos Aviation near the North Bend Airport for their precious canine passengers in the 28-degree weather. When the plane came down the final stretch of runway at approximately 5:07 p.m., 17 dogs arrived to North Bend to find their “forever homes.”

Some of the dogs have conditions such as a broken leg or various skin ailments. S.T.A.R.T. sends money to help S/Nipped pay for the dogs’ medical expenses.

“Last week some of these dogs were on a list to be euthanized. Today they come to find their forever homes,” McCuistion said.

The dogs were of a group of 500 dogs rescued, and the local stop was one of several in various cities in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Private pilots who donated their time, aircrafts and fuel, flew the planes that transported the dogs.

According to McCuistion, this year alone S/Nipped has adopted out approximately 178 dogs from the program they are involved in through S.T.A.R.T. and has rescued over 200 dogs from California.

“I think it is a wonderful privilege to be able to extend our hand to a neighboring state that still has an issue with pet population,” McCuistion said. “It’s not that Oregon doesn’t have a problem, it’s just not as drastic with the dogs as it is with the cats.”
According to a S/Nipped Facebook post, in 2001, the Oregon Humane Society reported that approximately 5,000 dogs were euthanized in shelters, while in that same time in Bakersfield, CA, more than 11,000 dogs were euthanized.
Coos County has several rescue organizations to help fight the problem of overpopulation, such as S/Nipped, Kohl’s Cat House and Friends of Coos County Animals.

“The only humane thing that has helped with the pet population problem is spaying and neutering,” McCuistion said.

The dogs will be available soon and those interested in providing a home for one of them can contact S/Nipped. A majority of the dogs are small breed, along with a few large breed dogs, all are in need of a home.