Thirteen dogs were rescued Friday morning in Upshur County when volunteer pilot Josh Vance, of Annapolis, Md., landed his 2004 Cessna 206 Stationair at the Upshur Regional Airport to meet with Jan Cochran from the Lewis/Upshur Animal Shelter.
The two have been working to rescue dogs locally for the past two years. In that time, they have rescued approximately 100 dogs.
Friday's rescue group was headed to Kindred Spirits Pet Rescue in New Cumberland, Pa.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Clise
Josh Vance, a volunteer pilot from Annapolis, Md., stops by the Upshur County Regional Airport Friday morning to fly 13 dogs and puppies from Upshur County to Kindred Spirits Pet Rescue in New Cumberland, Pa.
One of the dogs sent for rescue is named Tripod, a beagle mix. She was picked up by Animal Control officers and appeared to have had recent surgery to remove a portion of one of her back legs.
Cochran said the animal still had two staples from the surgery, but calls to area veterinarians resulted in no identification of the animal.
Tripod also made a short break for it when she briefly escaped while being loaded into the plane for the trip to her new home.
Cochran said Tripod has a family waiting for her.
Special dogs like Tripod are often hard to adopt out to residents because they do take more work and effort to care for as a pet.
Vance donates his time and services at no charge to the local animal control facility.
"I get the easy part," Vance said. "I get to hold them, and pet them. Actually placing them is the hard part."
Vance got involved in animal rescue through a friend, and he delivers the animals mainly to the Washington, D.C./Baltimore metro area, as well as Northern Virginia.
Cochran said that if more people would spay and neuter their pets, many problems with pet overpopulation and finding dogs homes would no longer be an issue.
"If people would spay and neuter we wouldn't have this problem," Cochran said. "We wouldn't be putting our pets off on other states."
Animal control officers in Lewis and Upshur counties are proactive when it comes to addressing spay and neuter issues. Cochran said the officers give animals owners educational materials each time they pick one up for an owner-sanctioned release.
There are many spay and neuter options available through a variety of groups in hopes of curbing cat and dog births.
The Upshur County Animal Defense Team is a group of volunteers dedicated to saving lives by preventing births of unwanted dogs and cats in Upshur County with the help of a participating veterinarian, Dr. Flesher of Upshur County and Dr. Lammie of Randolph County.
UCADT consists of a diverse group of able volunteers with collective education and hands-on experience in animal welfare, foster care, event coordination and construction and project planning. These people want to assist individuals in the community by providing low-cost spaying/neutering.
More information is available by calling 304-472-3865 or visiting www.upshur-animalcontrol.org.