WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A chihuahua named Taco was the first dog that was offloaded from a cargo plane at Palm Beach International Airport Friday afternoon around 2:40 p.m.
In total, 128 dogs arrived safely from Puerto Rico a mission lead by Big Dog Ranch Rescue.
They were flown in from Guayama, Puerto Rico because an animal sanctuary there is closing at the beginning of 2021.
"Some of these [dogs] have sat in outdoor runs in bad conditions for two and three years," said President and Founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue Lauree Simmons.
Simmons said they have about 300 more dogs to evacuate which will take two more flights on the chartered cargo plane.
Big Dog says each trip costs the charity about $25,000 and they were able to raise the money for three trips at their 'Wine, Women, and Shoes' event held earlier this year.
- Each dog will be walked and given a bath
- Big Dog Ranch Rescue's veterinarian will give each dog a checkup
- The dogs will go into quarantine for at least two weeks to make sure they don't spread disease (like kennel cough)
- They will be ready for adoption in about three weeks
About 60 of the dogs will be going to shelters in St. Louis, New Jersey, and New York.
Many of the canines arrived with Heart Worm (which can take several months to treat), eye and skin injuries and several other issues including broken bones. The medical problems will be rectified, or in treatment, before being put up for adoption.
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Simmons said the dogs from Puerto Rico are great dogs to adopt because they are hearty dogs, friendly with other dogs, and just need a forever home, "They are great dogs [and have a] super personality."