WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) — Some of the dogs that a woman rescued in the Bahamas during Hurricane Dorian are about to find their forever homes.
Thanks, in part, to the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team, also known as PAART.
When PAART’s plane took off from the Allegheny County Airport Thursday morning, it was stuffed with crates, dog food and other vital pet supplies.
They were headed for Florida to help 20 dogs rescued from the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian.
The first stop, Daytona Beach, Florida, to pick up the dogs.
“From there, these animals are going to East Hampton in Long Island,” Jonathan Plesset, PAART pilot and co-founder.
“Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons is who reached out to us to see if we could go to Florida and meet dogs that were coming over from the Bahamas,” said PAART Executive Director Mary Withrow.
Once in East Hampton, the 20 dogs will be put up for adoption.
It will be a quick trip. PAART is using a jet donated by Corporate Air.
“We’re upgrading to a much faster airplane, and the reason is, these animals can’t spend 10 hours in the back in our plane on a trip that could take 10 hours. We’re going to do it in two hours. It’s safer for the animals. It’s more efficient for everybody,” Withrow said.
The trip is happening, in part, because of Nassau, Bahamas-based animal welfare advocate, Chella Phillips. She runs a shelter in the Bahamas, and when she lost power during the storm, she took the 97 dogs to her home.
“When we learned about Chella Phillips, and her story, we were so inspired here at PAART. Somebody that small doing something that big, that’s exactly the kind of thing we want to be involved in,” Plesset said.
If all goes as scheduled, the 20 dogs traveling today will be in New York this afternoon and the crew will return to Pittsburgh by this evening.
“We’ll be back here by dinner time,” Plesset said.