Pawssengers flown in from Louisiana seeking forever homes

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A very special flight flew into the Rapid City Regional Airport on Friday, September 3.

DogLate that morning, 90 animals consisting of: dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens arrived in South Dakota from Hurricane Ida-damaged areas for Operation Sunflower.

The destination was selected by Sioux Falls native and Greater Good Charities CEO Liz Baker. Together with Hill’s Pet Nutrition, they created “Good Flights,” an emergency airlift program that brought the animals over from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“She was the one that knew my friend, Darci Adams in eastern South Dakota,” Operation Sunflower Coordinator Jamie al-Haj recalled. “They grew up across the street from each other. They’re both animal advocates. And she contacted Darci, who then contacted me.”

The plane landed first in East River, where 52 pets were unloaded. Then followed the final stop in Rapid City, where the remaining 38 pets disembarked.

Volunteers helped unload the displaced animals: from friends, animal advocates, to the South Dakota Army National Guard.

With their help, the animals were removed and loaded onto vehicles for further transport.

From there, the plan is to house them in four locations between South Dakota and Wyoming, including: Western Hills Humane Society in Spearfish, Critters, Inc. in Wyoming, Battle Mountain in Hot Springs, and the Humane Society of the Black Hills.

“These animals today, we’re going to take them in, we’re going to care for them,” said Humane Society of the Black Hills Executive Director Jerry Steinley. “We’re going to get them out into great families, and it’s what we do about 3,000 times a year.”

Soon they will be available for adoption in hopes of finding their furever homes.

Categories: Local News