Machinist and CNC machine specialist David Wright has never flown in a small aircraft and never participated in this sort of rescue, but he volunteered his entire day to help. A dog owner himself, he explained how his 200-lb English Mastiff protects his 8-year-old daughter. "My daughter would have loved to see this, she wants to be a veterinarian." he said, proudly.
It's amazing how things come together. The transport coordinator was dealing with issues from a traffic mishap the night before, the rescue agency representative was away from the shelter having to operate an adoption booth at a local PetCo, and the rescue pilot had laryngitis... but somehow everyone managed to take advantage of the flight opportunity and get these puppies to their destination.
Air Traffic controllers at Lakeland Linder airport were in their usual supportive mode, greeting us kindly on approach. Clear skies and calm winds on the ground disguised a squirrely layer of gusty winds during the descent. "I think that just woke up the puppies!" David said, as we recovered from a moderate gust.
"We love rescuing these little guys, but it is a sad reminder of how irresponsible some people can be. This is 100% preventable by simply spaying or neutering your dog." said Eric Peterson of Canine Rescue Flights. "While puppy mills seem to get the headlines, it's actually amateur backyard-breeders that often cause the most damage. They believe they're going to make a fast buck, then quickly find themselves totally unprepared for the work or the cost. One bout of sickness in a litter and these amateur 'breeders' see their profit going down the tubes... so instead of being responsible, they dump the entire litter. It's sad what people are capable of."