The Animal Welfare Friends got a special delivery to the Monticello Regional Airport, June 11, as 13 dogs arrived for adoption at the area shelter.

The canines, mostly puppies, were flown in from Tennessee by pilot Charlie Cato and co-pilot Maily Tran for the Rural Animal Rescue Effort. Cato is a veteran pilot who got his own plane last year and has been using it since August for flights just like this one. In 10 months, Cato has done 37 flights for rescue groups and is approaching 500 animals flown.

This is not the first time Animal Welfare Friends has worked with the Tennessee shelters, but it was the first time the animals have been delivered by air.

Shelters usually work together when they become overcrowded, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monticello shelter has had the opposite issue. The flight was needed as the shelter was down to one adoptable dog in the shelter for a couple days recently.

“That’s the least we’ve had since it’s been open,” Manager Amy Bradley said.

The calls from people wanting to adopt dogs have been constant, with interest from all over the area, not just Jones County. Cats have been more “hit or miss” in terms of how often people are looking to adopt them, though the shelter is currently in their low range in terms of the cats they have available.

The interest from people looking to adopt dogs increases exponentially when there are puppies available.

“Anytime we get puppies, we get way too many applications,” Bradley said.

As of Saturday, June 13, 11 of the 13 dogs had already found their homes. Even with the two dogs that remained, applications had already been submitted for the adoption.

If interested in adopting, the shelter is located at 22407 Business Highway 151, Monticello, Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6:30 p.m. Questions can be directed via phone to 319-975-8283.

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