On Oct. 20, Acadiana Animal Aid carried out its largest animal transport in history, flying 120 dogs and 67 cats from Louisiana to Washington state, where they would be placed in their “forever homes.”
Acadiana Animal Aid, a nonprofit no-kill rescue center in Carencro, partnered with Wings of Rescue, an all-volunteer pilot rescue program out of Los Angeles, to carry out this mission.
Pets were flown out of a private aircraft hanger at the Lafayette Regional Airport.
Acadiana Animal Aid saves thousands of animals each year by transporting them to shelters with an abundance of adopters, and not enough pets to go around.
In 2017, the organization helped save more than 2,700 animals, with 73 percent of those being transported to out-of-state no-kill shelters.
Meet Raggedy Dan
One of the pets making the flight to Washington was a cat named Raggedy Dan. His rescuers shared the following story about his journey from the back of an SUV to a new home across the country:
Hi my name is Raggedy Dan, but you can just call me Dan. It’s been a rough start to my life, I have to say. I was found in the bumper of an SUV in Opelousas. The nice lady pulled me out, and I was in bad shape. My ear had been burned, and my neck was burned and had a big cut on it. But the worst of it was my front left leg was broken. The nice lady was a nurse, so she gave me a bath and bandaged me up. The next day, I went for a ride and was brought to the nice lady’s friend’s house. This lady talked to me the whole time we drove to Acadiana Animal Aid. When I got to the shelter, I was scared but still feeling playful. I got an X-ray, and a cast was put on my leg. The cast was bigger than I was, but it didn’t slow me down. I still played with my toys and ran around. After a few weeks, they checked my leg, but it had not healed. The vet at the shelter decided the best thing for me was to have it amputated. Now, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Awe, poor guy, how will he enjoy life?’ I’m here to tell you I’m a fighter, and my paw has not slowed me down. I got to rest in an office in the shelter with this really cool dog named Vera. Yes, that’s right, I said a really cool dog. Then one day I was told I would get to fly on a transport to find my Fur-Ever home. So that takes me to Oct. 20, when I was loaded up very early in the morning and we went to a place called an airport. Little did I know what was in store for me. I boarded a Wings of Rescue flight to Washington state. I got to sit up with the pilot. When we reached Washington there were so many people waiting on us. People were taking our pictures and videoing us like we were movie stars. Myself and some of my friends went to P.A.W.S. in Lynnwood, Washington, where I will be put up for adoption to find my Fur-Ever home. I just want to thank everyone who took great care of me. I couldn’t have asked for more loving and caring people to have found me.