Bainbridge dogs fly out Saturday

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, March 5, 2014

There were approximately 260 dogs of all sizes, ages, description and points of origin at the Bainbridge-Decatur County airport Saturday.
They were brought from area shelters, many from Alabama, to be flown to rescues where their new owners were waiting to claim them.
Twenty small planes piloted by volunteer members of Pilots & Paws, mostly from South Florida, began arriving mid-morning, while animals poured in from such locations as Clanton and Adair, Ala. They joined the 38 or so from Bainbridge and were systematically loaded on to one of the waiting 20 planes.
One pilot, Jim Clark, flying Plane N2JC boarded most of the Bainbridge dogs and headed to Orlando.
The logistics of the day were a bit baffling, as some scurried to find just the right size crate and handlers loaded the planes according to information on the tags.
Many of the dogs waiting to be loaded were taken out of their cages briefly to be walked and watered by caring volunteers. Many couldn’t resist playing with the pups.
The event was planned by Jeff Bennett, who tagged the event, Spruce Creek Fly-Out.
Beth Eck and her staff from the Bainbridge shelter worked hard to get it all organized. Eck said it was all a bit challenging. She and the local shelter have for five years been sending dogs on a weekly basis to rescue via Pilots & Paws. Eck said she had to keep some of the Bainbridge dogs here that had been scheduled to go Saturday, as they ran out of room on the planes.
This part of the South is known for sending dogs to rescues in states where neutering and spaying laws are more strict, such as in Florida. Consequently there are few local dogs available for adoption.
While most of our dogs go to Florida, people in the northeastern states adopt what they call “Dixie Dogs” from other areas of the South.