Every weekend, freedom flights are travelling around America saving dogs who are just hours away from being killed in a heartless overcrowded southern shelter. Or so the story goes. Just this week, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) apparently sponsored yet another one of these air lifts of shelter dogs supposedly flying them to new lives. The same humane society that spent the entire previous year mired in one sexual predator scandal after another. Unfortunately, nothing new in the animal rescue field’s long history of attracting criminals and sexual deviants to its ranks.
There is a shadowy downside to these “freedom flights” that HSUS doesn’t want you to see. Transporting so-called rescued dogs across the U.S. is responsible for spreading a deadly canine flu across America and even more tragic, many of the dogs these groups sell off can be vicious killers. Take the case a year ago in which a pitbull named “Blue” disemboweled a 90 year old grandmother the same day he was adopted. Transferred through 4 complicit shelters and rescues who kept hiding his bite history before being sold to an unknowing adopter. This killer was kept alive and recycled in the adoption process in order to keep profits rolling in.
Records showed that before coming to Virginia Beach, Blue had been surrendered to a New York City shelter for biting a child. The records also showed that Forever Home had adopted Blue out to another Virginia Beach woman before the fatal attack, but she returned the dog after he bit her. The rescue group didn’t report the bite as the law requires.
Jamie Cochran, already previously convicted of embezzlement went into the “animal rescue” field as a lucrative career as many of these people do. After Blue killed someone, Cochran was banned by a Judge from importing “rescued” dogs into Virginia for 2 years. A ludicrously light sentence in exchange for the horrific death of an innocent grandmother. Who knows just how many potential future killers are on this HSUS chartered airplane with the same white washed histories? Let alone how many lost or stolen dogs were shipped? Already shady rescues are shipping hurricane dogs across the country before their real owners even have a chance to recover from the storms and claim their lost pets. Even more tragic, tens of thousands of dogs are being stolen from their owner’s yards and shipped out of state to resell as somehow in need of rescue. Yet even with the explosion of trafficking in stolen dogs and the shipments of hundreds of thousands of foreign dogs, many shelters and rescues across America are still empty. They still can’t get in enough product for sale proving there is no pet overpopulationin America today.
The newest trend are mega adoption events in which hundreds of dogs are sold off in a single weekend. Earlier this year, a huge sale was held in Oak, Pennsylvania. The majority of the dogs were flown into the state from Arizona. They more than likely originated in South America and were imported through Mexico just like the current invasion of migrants heading for our southern border. These flights are most likely in violation of USDA air shipping rules for pets. Footage of the airplanes landing for the Pennsylvania event showed the rescue volunteers had illegally zip tied Dixie cups to the sides of the dog crates as a way to provide water in violation of just about every animal care law in America.
Just who is shipping these second-hand dogs? There are several groups competing for market share in dog trafficking currently. The two biggest are Wings of Rescue and Pilots N Paws, both non-profit charities raking in millions of tax-free profit. Wings of Rescue, led by a Los Angeles animal rights activist boasts on their website that they have shipped over 30,000 dogs across Americafor resale now ramping up to an average of 12,000 yearly. Marketing primarily on social media where adopters don’t ask questions, these organized traffickers have corporate logos, heart wrenching slogans and product ready for sale in a parking lot near you funded by a $1,600,000 yearly budget. The cargo shipper for HSUS is Berry Aviation, Inc. A multi-million dollar privately owned defense contractor with bases located in Afghanistan, Africa and San Diego, California.
These groups want pet “adopters” to believe that they have ‘saved’ an animal from a pet over-population problem. This week, HSUS posted yet another video promoting their latest mega adopt-a-thon. They flew 170 dogs, many supposedly heart worm positive, into Virginia for resale in the Charlottesville area, claiming they were all saved from Texas.
Just how, exactly, did the dogs in this instance come from Texas? The plane’s flight plan shows it originated in Georgia, flew to Oklahoma, then Virginia, ending in Akron, Ohio.
Besides misrepresenting the area of where the dogs were originated, the dogs were then squeezed into crates too small for their size in violation of U.S. federal air shipping laws. Look at the pictures below taken from the HSUS video to note the size of the crate with the hot pink tape on it that this poor dog was shipped in. A crate that small shouldn’t be holding anything larger than a kitten, yet held a dog so large and heavy that this woman is struggling to hold it. With just short of $300 million in the bank, it would seem that HSUS could certainly afford larger shipping crates. It’s highly ironic that just a week ago, HSUS criticized the USDA for alleged so-called ‘lax enforcement’ of their regulations when it illustrates in this HSUS video that they are blatantly violating USDA regulations themselves.
Another well known shipper is Pilots N Paws which ships thousands of dogs around America. What they don’t want the public to realize is that Pilots N Paws, is a non-profit charity that exists simply to coordinate flights for rescues making their trafficking statistics much harder to trace. Just like HSUS which doesn’t run a single pet shelter in America, Pilots N Paws is also merely a cover. They don’t actually ship a single dog but they rake in the glory and donations. Like Wings of Rescue, they have a trademarked brand and corporate logo to protect and promote. Backlash hit in 2016 when the real rescue volunteers who do the workthat they take credit for went public with the truth. Now the Pilots N Paws website features the disclaimer below, still hiding the fact that they have $700,991 in assets, money donated to them by a public that doesn’t know they don’t rescue a single animal.
The question today isn’t how much is that doggie in the window. The question is, where exactly did it come from and what diseases does it carry?
Katharine Dokkenis a Contributing Writer at The Cavalry Group and the author of two new books, including The Art of Terror: Inside the Animal Rights Movement, available on Amazon. Follow Katharine and The Cavalry Group on Twitter: @KatharineDokken @TheCavalryGroup