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Plane Carrying 53 Rescue Dogs Executes Emergency Crash Landing

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on November 23, 2022

It’s common for rescue dogs to travel from southern states to the Midwest to increase their chances of adoption, but those large-scale transports are no easy task. Yet, no matter the complications, animal rescuers always work hard to make sure the dogs arrive safely.

A plane transporting dogs from Louisiana to Wisconsin had to crash land only a few miles from its destination. Luckily, the three humans and 53 dogs on board all survived, but there were some minor injuries and, of course, fear. So, the local humane society got to work treating these dogs and preparing them for adoption.

Plane crash Pewaukee

Unexpected Crash

A transport of 53 dogs was set to land at the Waukesha County Airport on November 15th, but the end of the flight didn’t go smoothly. For unknown reasons, the plane crash-landed just before reaching Waukesha. It crashed into the Western Lakes Golf Club in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, which is only a few miles from the destination.

The emergency landing caused debris to fly and fuel to spill out, but miraculously, everyone on board was alive. The shelters and rescues expecting to pick up the arriving dogs rushed to the scene when they heard about the crash. One of the organizations, the Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS), had planned to take in 21 of the dogs.

Puppy saved from plane crash

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Several golf club employees witnessed the twin-engine plane crash through the trees and land by the fifth hole on the course. Its wings snapped off in the process, but thankfully, no one was in the way when it hit the ground.

“I mean disbelief to start with, but obviously the first question is, is everybody okay? And thankfully the answer is yes,” said Jason Heltz, Western Lakes Golf Club manager.

Adoptable dog at HAWS

Dogs Continue Their Journeys!

All the dogs were soon whisked away to local shelters and rescues, where they had medical evaluations. Some dogs had minor injuries, but that was it. Most of the dogs were put up for adoption shortly after the crash. After everything they went through, they deserve a loving home more than ever.

One dog named CeeCee went home with Tony Wasielewski, who was nearby when the plane crashed. When he went to help the plane passengers, CeeCee leaped into his arms and showered him with kisses. So, after some consideration, Wasielewski knew the pup was meant to be in his family. Many of the other dogs also found their new families in only a few days.

Plane crash dog adopted

RELATED: Dog Reunites With Family After Surviving Fatal Plane Crash

“It is a lot of just comforting them and caring for them. Every animal is different just like we are, so we’re all going to react a little bit differently,” said Maggie Tate-Techtmann, a director at HAWS.

Shortly after the plane crash, HAWS started a fundraiser to gather money for the care of the dogs. They ended up raising more than double their $5,000 goal. HAWS regularly takes in dogs from southern states to give them better chances at adoption. If you’d like to support the animals in their care, you can donate online.

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