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Pilot to fly San Bernardino shelter dogs to other states

Dozens of San Bernardino city shelter dogs are getting a second chance to be put up for adoption.
April 22, 2014 2:01:50 PM PDT
Dozens of San Bernardino Animal Control shelter dogs are getting a second chance to be adopted. The facility has come under recent scrutiny over its kill rate. But an animal rescue group is stepping in to help. Preparations are underway to find the dogs new homes out of state.

The goal was simple: Get as many dogs as possible out of the shelter and take them to "low-kill" shelters across the country, where they might have a better chance of being adopted.

Yehuda Netanel, the founder of the group Wings of Rescue, is a pilot. Netanel says over the years he's flown more than 6,000 cats and dogs to low-kill shelters, where they may have a better chance at finding a family.

"As long as the dog has good temperament and has reasonably good health, then we'll take him," said Netanel.

There was a veterinarian on staff to check the animals before leaving. Many people have volunteered to help.

Some people say the project doesn't address the real problem at this shelter.

"They're killing a lot of animals that they claim are sick," said animal rights attorney Marla Tauscher, who says the city isn't doing enough. "They say things like 'give us time, give us time.' These are clear violations of law that could be fixed right now, and need to be fixed right now."

San Bernardino Police Lt. Rich Lawhead, who oversees the shelter, says there are quite simply too many animals coming into the facility for them to keep up with.

"A lot of times we get boxes of puppies that are left for us to deal with, mainly because an owner probably didn't spay or neuter his dog, and now has puppies and has left them abandoned," said Lawhead.

Lawhead says the city will be hiring a full-time rescue coordinator, and they'll be bringing in inmates to help clean some of the kennels.

In the meantime, almost everyone agrees that groups like Wings of Rescue can help.

There will be a pet adoption fair at the San Bernardino City Shelter on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 333 Chandler Place in San Bernardino.


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