On a wing and a prayer: ‘Mushkadoodles’ arrive in Halifax

Click to play video: 'Puppies rescued from Goosebay arrive in Halifax' Puppies rescued from Goosebay arrive in Halifax
WATCH: 19 puppies rescued from Goose Bay arrived in Halifax on Friday. Jennifer Grudic has more on their incredible journey – May 5, 2017

A group of puppies from Labrador received the VIP treatment Friday as they arrived in Halifax via chartered aircraft.

Shelley Cunningham, president of Litters ‘n Critters Rescue Society, said they’ve been working with the SPCA in Goose Bay, N.L. since 2008 to help alleviate some of the burden of a large stray dog population.

She said they put out a call on Wednesday asking if anyone could help bring 19 puppies to Halifax to put them up for adoption — the first time in years.

“About two years ago the airline that was helping us get the dogs down, they stopped shipping them for us,” Cunningham said.

“So, we were kind of stuck with a way of getting them down until… Well, until today.”

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She said she was hoping that, at best, she could connect with some people who were either driving or flying down from Labrador who could take a puppy or two. That is, until she was contacted by Elayne Pink, co-owner of of Absolute Travel Specialists.

“Elayne called me and said she might have a chartered plane that’s going up there, I thought, ‘oh my God.. Is this real? Don’t tease with me!'” Cunningham said.

Pink said soon as she saw the Facebook post, she knew she wanted to do something to help.

“[I knew] we had to make this happen and in order to do that we need the help of someone who has a plane.”

She said she reached out to one of their partners, Maritime Air, to see if they were interested in helping out.

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“Within minutes they called me back, the pilot said ‘we’re in, let’s do it’.”

Together, they partnered with Gateway Aviation to get things off the ground. Less than 48 hours after the initial call went out, Capt. Darryl Cross and First Officer Aiden Chisholm were on their way to collect the dogs.

“We’re a dog-friendly group around here,” Cross said.

“I thought – this is an opportunity to do something nice. I talked to Karl Riches at Gateway Aviation and between the two of us we agreed to cost share this adventure and here we are with 19 puppies in our little Navajo.”

The puppies are currently at home with their foster families as they await veterinary care.

Litters ‘n Critters will begin taking adoption applications in the coming weeks.

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