Five rescued dogs flown into Norfolk Regional Airport | News

Flying while pregnant is no joke, but for these dogs, it’s a matter of life or death.

Two female dogs and three puppies were flown into Norfolk Regional Airport on Thursday from Texas. The dogs were at risk of being euthanized at a kill shelter.

Valerie, a female border collie, was one of the dogs on the flight with a difficult past. She had given birth previously, but she lost her entire litter.

Other dogs on the flight were mixed German shepherd puppies, Decklyn, Darcy and Deena. And a pregnant dog named Diana, who is a Chihuahua. Less than 24 hours after landing, Diana gave birth to a litter of seven.

Lisa Doescher, the shelter manager at Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska, said it’s common for pregnant dogs to be rescued from kill shelters.

“They will euthanize a pregnant dog, they’ll euthanize puppies,” Doescher said. “For them, it’s a matter of space and, if you’ve been there the longest, then you’re next. Unfortunately, it’s a very tough place to be in. I could not work there.”

The rescue was coordinated by a nonprofit called Pilots N Paws, in which pilots volunteer their time and planes to transport rescued dogs and cats. The Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska will be taking in the five dogs and will care for them until they are adopted.

“It’s a really big deal to us,” Doescher said.

Andrew McClintock of Texas was the pilot who flew the dogs in. The dogs also came from Texas, Doescher said.

“I’ve always wanted to give back,” McClintock said.

McClintock said he started the flight at three in the morning. More than 12 hours later, he landed with the dogs at the Norfolk Regional Airport.

“As long as it’s within a day’s travel, I’m willing to do it,” McClintock said.

Doescher said this is Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska’s first time working with Pilots N Paws — but not the last. The shelter is already receiving requests to take other dogs.

“It’s a nice thing to say we’ve developed a good reputation for taking animals here and being able to place them quickly and effectively,” Doescher said.

According to Doescher, there has been a lull in animal adoptions lately.

To encourage residents to adopt lingering dogs, Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska recently implemented its 30 for $30 sale — meaning if a dog has been at the shelter for 30 days or longer, its adoption fee is only $30.

Doescher said another way people can help is by neutering or spaying their pets.

“If people would just spay and neuter, this problem would really be drastically cut down,” Doescher said. “So that’s probably the number one thing I would say.”

The five dogs flown in on Thursday will be spayed and neutered by Madison County Veterinary Services, Doescher said.

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