Flying into the new year with dogs landing in homes!

Quasi was a rescue we met at the end of 2022. He was left by his owners at a large municipal shelter in Merced, California. He had an infection in his body that was life threatening and he needed help right away. Thankfully, one of our amazing rescue partners, New Beginnings For Merced County Animals was able to act quickly and worked with a local veterinarian to address his medical needs immediately. At that moment everyone knew his road to recovery was going to be challenging. Quasi was able to hitch a ride on The Big Dog, sponsored by Petco Love shortly after his operation. Quasi began his recovery at Camp Duford in Polson Montana where he was able to sleep the days away and heal from major surgery. As he recovered, Life Savers Animal Rescue helped assist to find him a home.

Quasi was put in a foster home with our own rescue flight coordinator Lynette Duford. After Lynette removed the staples from his surgery to remove a large mass, the rescuers were able to see what an amazing and resilient dog Quasi had become. Quasi needed a few more surgeries to fix his eyes and get “fixed” head to toe, but as his surgeries were all healing, he was getting some obedience training and began playing with other dogs. After a couple weeks, he found a home in northern Montana. We are grateful to have played a role in Quasi getting a second chance at life and grateful to the shelters and rescues that work tirelessly to save animals just like Quasi. The pictures below say it all, working together truly saves lives!

Although we are not planning any rescue flights for another couple weeks, we are still very busy getting ready for the upcoming season. Our ten volunteer pilots recently attended their annual training at the end of January. This training is mandatory for our pilots and we like to make sure that our pilots are receiving the best training available.

Our planes also get an additional yearly check up in the off season. This year’s annual maintenance is special for “The Sequel” because it will be receiving a new avionics panel so that it is identical to “The Big Dog”. This will make the planes safer and easier for our volunteer pilots to captain. Both planes are having the work done at Yingling Aviation in Wichita, KS. Once this work has been completed, the “Big Dog” will be picked up by Captain Maresca and we will plan a rescue flight with our Texas shelter partners to deliver animals near our homebase in Jackson Wyoming.

We are naming this flight “operation Maxie” because Maxie is a special CoPilot, who was rescued by our partner Underground Dog and she is being adopted by Captain Maresca and his wife Margo!  Maxie was brought into the rural, small Marfa Animal Shelter (6 kennels) along with her sister Lola, a senior chihuahua, and a young shepherd puppy with a terribly embedded collar. All dogs lived in a very small backyard, received little care or attention, and were living in very dirty, difficult conditions. The shepherd puppy went fairly quickly to a rescue and the senior chi found a foster home, but Maxie and her sister languished in the low enrichment shelter for more than eight weeks before going to a spay/neuter clinic in Presidio and then landing short-term foster homes to help them recover from surgery and to get to know them better. Frank and Margo fell in love with her pictures and decided she is “the one!”.  We will be flying from El Paso Texas where Maxie and 50 other dog passengers will board the Big Dog on a truly lifesaving flight!

Be sure to stay tuned for more flight updates in the next few weeks. Please keep an eye on our social media feeds like Facebook and Instagram so you are the first to know when we are back in the air rescuing animals for the upcoming 2023 season.

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