Teamwork. When teams of compassionate people come together the impossible become possible. 197 dogs in Puerto Rico learned first hand the power of teamwork. Faced with the daunting reality the these shelters needed to shut down and retool their options were limited. If these dogs and cats don’t leave the shelter there wasn’t room for them reinvent themselves. Someone had to make this happen. The Humane Society of the United States, Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team and Wings of Rescue answered the call and joined forces on an incredible mission of hope that began in Puerto Rico and ended at the northern tip of Long Island.
It began last Thursday when Landpilots Lynda Manko, Ken Adler, Cindy Lee, Kim Curtis, Ralph Harlan, and Tony Larocca made the 24 hour trip in the Landplane and Rescue Trailer to Fort Lauderdale, FL. On Saturday they met up with teams from Greatergood.org, Humane Society of the United States and Wings of Rescue to receive 197 animals who were flown in from Puerto Rico. Late Saturday night our team had loaded 126 animals (95 dogs and 31 cats) on our transport vehicles and began the drive back. Along the way they stopped at a few shelters to deliver the animals. Around 9pm last night we arrived back in Pittsburgh where the animals were fed, cleaned, and walked. Our team spent the night to get everything in order for a final push that started at 4am.
At 4:30am team one with Lynda Manko, Brandon Lyda, and David Manko set off for West Chester, PA in the trailer with 56 animals. At 7am Pilots Jonathan Plesset and Pete Lehmann flew 7 dogs to West Hampton, Long Island. At 10am Landpilots John Busin and Lori Skorvinko went to Maryland with 12 animals.
Now that the mission is complete we look back on this incredible undertaking and realize that the change all of these teams made is something that is not only for today, but for years to come in Puerto Rico. Not only does 197 animals have a new hope, shelters on the island now have the chance to change themselves forever. We are so humbled and grateful to have been a PAART of something so special.