By JULIA BENNETT
On Saturday, Kootenai Humane Society will give a new home to shelter dogs and cats that have been displaced by recent flooding in Arkansas.
Record rainfall along the Arkansas River has inundated the region and overwhelmed animal shelters. The Arkansas River is at the highest point recorded in multiple areas.
Wings of Rescue, a charity that transports endangered pets from high-kill shelters and areas affected by natural disaster, is partnering with GreaterGood.org, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to fly the Arkansas animals to Washington and Idaho.
All told, 172 stray dogs and cats are being airlifted to Resort Aviation at Coeur d’Alene Airport in Hayden, where they will be transported to shelters in the Pacific Northwest that have agreed to help the pets find their forever homes. Transporting the animals will not only give them a better chance of being adopted but also will provide additional space in Arkansas shelters for pets who have lost their families during the floods.
Wings of Rescue President Ric Browde said the charity only takes animals from the shelters who were there before the natural disasters, so animals that were separated from their families can still find their way home.
Browde said Kootenai Humane Society is his group’s No. 1 partner.
“Together, we have probably saved 5,000 pets,” Browde said. “Everyone in Coeur d’Alene must own 10 dogs, it is such a humane place.”
Kootenai Humane Society Executive Director Debbie Jeffery said the organization has been partnering with Wings of Rescue since 2014. The animals that are airlifted to Hayden are quick to find homes.
“It’s remarkable how fast we adopt dogs,” Jeffery said.
Kootenai Humane Society will take in 58 pets. The remaining furry friends be taken to Progressive Animal Welfare Society, Seattle Humane, Northwest for Animal Help and Spokanimal.
Animal lovers interested in adopting a displaced pet can learn more by calling the Humane Society at 208-772-4019.