78 dogs transported to Oregon from Oklahoma due to shelter overcrowding

Dozens of dogs are on the trip of their lives on Saturday.

“We try to arrive very early because we don’t want the dogs to get too hot,” said coordinator Rob Smith.

On the journey to their new forever home across the country, these dogs are locked in crates.

“We use about a thousand zippers each time,” Smith said.

78 dogs and puppies left Will Rogers World Airport on Saturday for Salem, Oregon.

Volunteers from across the state bring in dogs they’ve rescued from high-risk shelters.

“If they’re able to ride together and friendly, we’ll put two dogs in a crate and that’s just a lot more animals,” Smith said. “They will be crated for about seven hours now. But it’s better than the alternative here in Oklahoma.

“A lot of small towns don’t have much for shelters or pounds.” said Jen Moser, who helps with dog rescues in Choctaw.

They take a one-way flight.

“That’s an overwhelming amount of dogs that need homes,” she said.

Volunteers work to save as many lives as possible.

“And if you can’t adopt, even foster homes will save their lives so they can make it long enough to catch a flight or take out-of-state transportation,” Moser said.

Thousands of dogs are slaughtered each year in Oklahoma.

“There are literally…I hate to say thousands, but at least hundreds of dogs, put down, every week every two weeks,” Smith said.

It’s an expensive trip.

Vikki Smith founded Fetch Fido A Flight to rescue pets euthanized due to overcrowded shelters.

It is approaching the 3,000 animals saved.

“Being a donation-funded operation, the flights are rather expensive. They are about 20,000 per flight. So all of these rescues are picking up the animals and getting them checked, and she’s not charging anyone for the theft,” Rob Smith said.

Ameriflight charted Saturday’s flight.

“We take dogs all over the country from various shelters in the area that are up for adoption,” said Tyler Singh, pilot and co-pilot.

This charter flight was almost not for everyone.

“Sometimes passengers complain, but the dogs only bark a little and then they fall asleep,” Singh said.

“It’s a huge game of Tetris, it’s about how many animals we can fit in and get everyone safely to their destination,” Singh said.

So Echo and Tilly go up front.

Shipped with the promise of new life.

“Usually they’re adopted within five or six days,” Smith said.

The flight landed in Salem on Saturday evening.

Fetch Fido A Flight organizers encourage everyone to sterilize their pets.

For more information about the organization, CLICK HERE.

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