For some dogs like Baby and Captain, a trip to another shelter is just a day in the life.  For others, it is what their life depends on. On November 9th, 2016 pilots Billy and Shane helped transport 4 young, healthy dogs from a busy Texas shelter to the Rutland Humane Society in Vermont. Here, their chances for adoption are exponentially higher.


Their Story

For Barkley, the 43-pound black lab, and Wiggles the spotted black and white border collie mix, this flight gave them a chance at a long, happy life. Because these two pups are what the Texas shelter labels as “critical needs dogs”, their time in the lone star state was quickly running out.

Tawana, from the Society for Companion Animals, informed us “[Barkley] kept getting passed up; big black dogs are hard to adopt in Texas”. She has a point. In fact, there is even a name for this phenomenon. It is known as Black Dog Syndrome, or BDS. According to, big black dogs spend four times the number of weeks on the site as other pets. This is also true in shelters across the country. Likely due to media portrayal and unclear facial features the aversion to black pets remains a problem.

The Flight

The pilots involved, Billy and Shane had the opportunity to help out these canines arrive safely at their destination and took it without a second thought. For them, helping someone out, dog or person, is always worth their time.

Beginning their journey in Farmingdale, NY, the pilots were off to the rescue. After flying to Westchester, they picked up Captain, Baby, Wiggles, and Barkley at Million Air.  Isn’t it amazing what people will do for animals? The airport was even nice enough to waive any fees associated with the trip. Once the dogs finished gazing out the windows, their excitement transitioned into a long nap that lasted most of the flight. Finally, the dogs safely land in Vermont at the KRUT Rutland Airport, where the four pups were taken to the Humane Society.

Adoption Details

Now, you can find the dogs on Rutland Humane Society’s adoption page. Each dog has a unique personality and loving nature. They have a lot of energy and are ready to put it to good use loving the family who chooses to adopt them.

Find out more about Captain, Barkley, Wiggles, and Baby here.

MAJOR AIRLINES Alaska Airlines – Pet in cabin – $100.00 USD each way Pet in baggage – $100.00 USD each way. Animal doesn’t have to be owned the traveler and can be a rescue pet. • The pet carrier counts toward your carry-on bag allotment. You may bring either a pet carrier and a personal item, or a pet carrier and a standard size carry-on bag. You may not board the aircraft with a pet carrier, a standard size carry-on, and a personal item. • A customer may travel with a maximum of 2 pet carriers in the main cabin, only when the adjacent seat is purchased by the same customer. • Pets allowed in the passenger cabin are dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds. Dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks old and must have been fully weaned. • Up to 2 pets of the same species and similar size may travel in the same carrier, provided no body parts protrude from the carrier and the animals are not in distress. Brachycephalic or “short-nosed” dogs and cats are not accepted for travel in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines flights (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest, or PenAir). Dogs: boston terrier, boxer (all breeds), bull dog (all breeds), bull terrier, brussels griffon, chow chow, english toy spaniel, japanese spaniel/japanese chin, mastiff (all breeds), pekingese, pit bull (all breeds), pug (all breeds), shih tzu, staffordshire terrier. Cats: Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian. All pets traveling in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir) must have a health certificate dated within 10 days of initial travel and 30 days of return travel, when the return flight is booked in the same record. Pets traveling on a return flight booked in a separate record are required to have a health certificate dated within 10 days of that flight. A health certificate is not required for pets traveling in the cabin with their passenger; however, many states have specific importation health and vaccination requirements.

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