In its longest-distance animal rescue effort ever, an animal rescue organization in Jackson, Wyo., called Dog Is My CoPilot, is sending some canine Louisiana flood victims to a shelter in the Wood River Valley.

    More than 60 dogs are scheduled to arrive at Friedman Memorial Airport today, Sept. 7. Fifty will go on to other shelters in the West, while 10 will be taken to the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley near Hailey to be put up for adoption.

    According to a media release from Dog Is My CoPilot, the recent flooding in Louisiana has caused animal shelters there to become overcrowded, forcing them to euthanize animals.

    The animals will be transported in a Cessna Grand Caravan, flown by Dog Is My CoPilot co-founder Peter Rork, an orthopedic surgeon and dog lover who began donating his time and Cessna 206 to animal rescue organizations in 2008.

    Rork and Arizona attorney Judy Zimet, also an animal lover, started the organization to rescue dogs from overcrowded kill shelters so they can find a “forever” home, according to the news release.

    The nonprofit organization does not charge shelters that send or receive animals, and by flying as many dogs as can fit in the plane, transportation costs are kept low.

    Nadia Novik, director of shelter outreach for the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, said Rork will be dropping off 10 dogs who will soon be available for adoption.

    She said Rork has delivered canines to the valley on five previous occasions, and the animals are some of the fastest to find a loving home.

    “We’re usually able to get some younger dogs that have a milder temperament, are social and family friendly,” she said.

    Novik said that as people get to know the relocated dogs, through shelter-sponsored activities like the Hikin’ Buddies program, which pairs people with dogs for outdoor exploration, the dogs are quickly adopted.

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