TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Nearly 400 animals were flown to safety during a Valentine’s Day adoption run. The rescued dogs and cats came from high intake shelters in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas
“We are one of several third parties involved in this situation there’s an amazing group called Wings of Rescue and they were working with the Humane Society of the United States and the SPCA serving Erie County is one of the emergency placement partners,” said Gina Browning, SPCA serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer.
The SPCA was able to take in 29 animals from the Wings of Rescue transport.
“They were coming from an organization in Arkansas and it was a Humane Society but like we see quite often in the south, animal welfare in the south is very different than animal welfare here in the north,” said Browning.
Browning says the dogs and cats came from overcrowded shelters and poor conditions.
“There are humane societies that start out with the best of intentions maybe with a manageable number of animals and all of a sudden they find themselves in a position of having 7,8, 900 animals,” said Browning.
Browning says the animals are currently being evaluated and getting used to a new routine.
“Some of the older dogs are having a little bit of trouble relaxing they had a rough day yesterday with the transport,” said Browning.
A rescued kitten named Adam has already been neutered and he’ll be going up for adoption soon.
“The fact that we had the room to accept a transport of this level is a testimony to a community that backs us up,” said Browning.
As soon as staff are done evaluating the dogs they will also be going up for adoption.
The remaining animals that were rescued were transported to no kill shelters in Rochester, Ithaca, Elmira as well as Coeur d’Alene Idaho, and the Seattle/Tacoma metropolitan area.
The SPCA serving Erie County will be moving from it’s location in Tonawanda to a new location in West Seneca in late March where they will have more space to better accommodate animals.