ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – A rags to riches story. Nine puppies and their mom, who likely would’ve spent a very long time in a New Mexico shelter, are well on their way to living the high life in one of the wealthiest communities in America.
“Being able to transfer these puppies to the Hamptons was life-saving,” says Mattie Allen with Española Humane. Nine puppies and their mom are taking off to a new life, far away from their temporary home at Española Humane.
“These puppies could’ve languished in the shelter because we have so many to choose from right now,” Allen says. “Sometimes even the cutest puppies get overlooked.”
Allen described one particular day at the shelter as a Puppy Tidal Wave. “I think we had 54 in-house and probably 100 more in foster care,” she says.
Shelter Medical Director Dr. Tom Parker’s cousin, Dr. George Dempsey, happened to be visiting from the Hamptons – a wealthy, coastal community – known as the place where the richest people in New York City spend their summers.
“He just came up with this wild idea – maybe we could start flying some of these puppies to the Hamptons,” says Allen.
As it happens, Dempsey is the general practitioner for Scott Howe, who runs the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons. “And he said, ‘you help all these other places, you help Puerto Rico, why can’t you help New Mexico?’ I said, ‘I’d love to but how do we get the dogs here?’ And he said, ‘well, I have a plane,’” says Howe.
So, Dr. Dempsey recruited some of his pilot friends to help some puppies on a cross-country trip, calling themselves the “four-legged flyers.”
“Volunteer pilots who donated their time, their planes, their expertise,” Allen says.
The trip went off without a hitch. “I can tell you, I got pretty emotional watching that plane take off,” says Allen.
The nine puppies and their mom are now settling in, in the Hamptons, where there is already a waiting list of people who want to take them home. “They could find some pretty happy homes,” says Howe. “I mean, these dogs could end up spending weekends in the Hamptons and the weekdays in the city.”
“It’s astounding that these babies are going from homeless to living in the Hamptons,” Allen says. Both shelters hope to continue this partnership.
In the meantime, Española Humane still has plenty of puppies and dogs that need homes for the holidays.