Everyone can help animals

Published 8:31 pm Saturday, October 13, 2012

The scene at Suffolk Executive Airport on Thursday played out in front of relatively few spectators, but it was one that affects everyone.

Two dozen Chihuahuas had been rescued from a man in North Carolina whose wife had died and who was unable to care for all of the dogs on his own. Chihuahua Rescue and Transport learned of the situation and stepped in to help.

But they needed some help of their own to step in — or rather, to fly in. They needed help getting the dogs to New Jersey, where a humane society had agreed to take them, efficiently and economically.

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Pilot Matthew Kiener from the Pilots N Paws group, which aids animal rescues through the use of volunteer pilots and their planes, helped accomplish the task with his Piper Saratoga airplane. The entire round trip wound up taking less time than a one-way trip by road would have.

It is people like Kiener, the Chihuahua rescue volunteers and others who help make the quality of life better for people and pets across the nation. Locally, the Suffolk Humane Society helps animals find forever homes and educates on the importance of humane treatment, spaying and neutering. Similar groups throughout the country are working on the grassroots level to encourage a loving, common-sense approach to how we treat the animals in our care.

Not everyone can afford to buy a plane and take days off work to fly Chihuahuas up and down the East Coast, but luxurious personal resources aren’t required of everyone to help animals in our community. Simply treat your animals humanely and have them fixed, volunteer with the humane society, or adopt from the animal shelter rather than purchasing from a pet shop or breeder. Like all community problems, the plight of animals requires a community solution with everyone working together to achieve results.