Hundreds of Valley shelter pets flown out of state to find forever homes

Wings of Rescue in partnership with ASPCA made sure more than 120 pets from the Valley will have a better chance at finding a home by transporting them to other states with less crowded shelters.

Saturday, more than 125 at-risk shelter cats and dogs from Maricopa County Animal Care and Control took off to freedom, all thanks to Wings of Rescue

"Wings of Rescue came here today with a chartered plane to take some animals to Spokane Washington and Oregon and help with the rescues there because they have more adopters than they have animals and we have more animals than we have adopters so this is a win/win situation for everybody and all the animals," said Laurie Ellzey, Wings of Rescue volunteer. 

This year, Wings of Rescue has helped over 6,500 animals find their forever homes in other states, transporting them to locations that are not overcrowded. 

Wings of Rescue CEO Ric Browde says each trip begins with an emotionally bittersweet morning. 

"There's this feeling of joy when you're loading the plane, and then there’s this feeling of dread when you close the door because you know you didn't get everybody that there are some pets still in shelters but it never gets old," said Ric Browde, Wings of Rescue CEO. 

That's exactly what volunteers say keeps them motivated to continue this work. 

"It is the best feeling ever, I tell everyone, you know when you go to church and you have the best sermon ever and you leave there, this is how I feel every single time when I come and help an animal find a new home," says Ellzey. 

Sunday the group plans to travel to Florida to help shelter pets there ahead of Hurricane Dorian.