AUSTIN, TX — Austin Pets Alive! coordinated the rescue and transport of 1 dog and 13 cats by plane today. With the help of private pilot David Nelson, the flight to Alpine, Texas and back to Austin saved the 14 pets at-risk of euthanasia from two shelters as part of APA!'s aim to save 1,000 pets in shelters facing tough times in the aftermath of the recent Texas winter storms.
These pets are from Alpine Animal Services and Marathon Animal Shelter, both small, rural shelters lacking resources to care for all the pets that enter their doors. Austin Pets Alive!, through the generosity of donor Nelson, flew to the Alpine area to pick up these pets and return them to Austin before transporting them to shelter partners in Michigan, Chicago, and the DC area later this week.
This roundtrip, same day flight is crucial to lifesaving. Where it would normally be a 12-13 hour day of driving for volunteer transporters, the flight there and back will take just a few hours. Available vehicles, drivers, and funds have historically been major barriers to getting pets in these rural areas to safety, so David’s time, plane, and willingness is invaluable.
This is David’s second lifesaving flight for Austin Pets Alive! in less than two weeks. In late February, David and APA! flew to Harlingen and Laredo in one day. On that rescue mission, David met and transported a dog named Wagon, who he fell in love with and had to add to his family.
Texas shelters who need help getting pets out as well as shelters that are able to transport and/or receive cats and dogs should contact [email protected]. The biggest need at this time is for organizations that can safely transport pets. To help make these transports happen, people are encouraged to give to Austin Pets Alive! here.
Additional photos and videos of this transport are available for press upon request. Please contact [email protected].