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Pilots N Paws

A Chance at Life

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The following is from a newspaper article from the Hereford Humane Society.  

What would you do if you saw 15 furry puppies wandering helplessly around an abandoned house, way out in the country where they would have to fight off coyotes and hawks on a daily basis? Most would feel overwhelmed trying to help a herd of puppies that large but not the workers of Nutri Feeds in Hereford. Some of their workers spotted these poor pups and just couldn’t ignore their situation. They threw out whatever scraps of meat they could find to the herd and the three momma dogs and then they called the Hereford Humane Society.


The Humane Society, part of the Hereford Animal Control building on the corner of 15th St. and Progressive Rd., is a rescue organization that tries to help as many pets as they can to find homes and avoid dying of starvation, disease, or neglect. At the time of the call about this little herd, however, the Humane Society was full to capacity and was unable take the poor pups to their shelter. But that’s not where the story ends. Bob Maddox, president of the Humane Society, began administering a round of parvo/distemper vaccines to the puppies at the abandoned house they called home. Shortly after that, their pictures were taken by a Humane Society volunteer and they were displayed on several websites to advertise their need for homes.

A glimmer of hope came when a rescue organization in Colorado called “Colorado Aussie Rescue” Colorado Aussie Rescue inquired about the puppies dire situation. The Colorado Aussie Rescue organization, located in Thornton, CO, is a rescue group that specializes in placing northern herding breeds into very thoroughly screened homes. The organization offers veterinary services, training services, and pet photography services along with their pet adoptions. Most of these services are provided through donations and volunteers. Lynnette Lesher, adoption coordinator of the Colorado rescue organization was very interested in this herd of puppies, most of which would have immediate homes once they were treated for their various ailments caused by living in the wild.

IMG_7295The process of getting the puppies ready for their trip across state lines took a few weeks to prepare for. For such a journey, Colorado required them to have a health certificate stating that they had had their rabies, parvo, and distemper vaccinations and that they were of good health. They also needed to be spayed/neutered before their trip. Getting 15 puppies to the vet for all the required shots and operations was a feat in itself! Helping out with all of the vet work were Janey Gordon, DVM of the Hereford Veterinary Clinic on Hwy 60 in Hereford and vets Zach Smith, DVM, Amber Reiman, DVM, and Mark Birkenfeld , DVM of the Dimmitt Veterinary Clinic on Hwy 385 in Dimmitt. These tireless veterinarians took on this cute but smelly and often unfriendly herd of puppies to make sure that they could get to their “forever homes.”

Once ready for their journey the pups were loaded onto a small 6 seated plane flown by another volunteer from Colorado, Tommy Holley. Mr. Holley, a flight instructor who donates his time and his plane for these kinds of pet adventures through online forums entitled Pilots N Paws and Angel Flight, donated his time and paid for the gas for the flight with the help of one of his flight students, Grant Muller. On Friday, February 15th Holley and Muller landed at the Hereford Regional Airport after a 2 ½ hour trip, loaded with dog crates ready for their furry passengers. Bob Maddox and Humane Society volunteer Christi Dawson helped round up the puppies and load them into the small plane for their flight to their new homes. Without the help of so many volunteers and the compassion of the workers at Nutri Feeds, these poor puppies would surely have died from either disease or wild animals. Now they have a wonderful future in the lives of awaiting families who will love and care for them for the rest of their lives. This is one of the most rewarding success stories the Hereford Humane Society has had since its grand opening in the fall of 2012. With the help of more volunteers, they hope to be able to save more pets and have many more stories to tell.