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Barkhouse, a Las Cruces-based logistics transport service for animals, has been assisting the Animal Services Center of Mesilla Valley (ASCMV) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization has already pulled more than 40 dogs and puppies from the ASCMV in the last several weeks and had planned to partner with Pet Rescue Pilots to fly the animals to various locations, where homes for them already have been secured.
Barkhouse Vice President Kathy Tarochione said plans hit a significant snag Nov. 10 when the plane that was to be used for the transports had an engine malfunction that grounded all operations for a minimum of three weeks.
With three flights originally scheduled for November, Tarochione said Barkhouse has reached out to the general managers of both the Las Cruces International Airport and the Dona Ana County International Jetport at Santa Teresa in hopes of finding one or more area pilots with planes who could assist with getting the transports done on schedule, but has been unsuccessful in those efforts.
In the meantime, she said, the dogs are being temporarily housed at the Dona Ana County Courthold Facility on Griggs Street under a temporary agreement with county officials.
Tarochione said pilot Julian Javor of Pet Rescue Pilots told her he is eager to get back in the air but probably won’t be able to have a new engine installed in his plane until mid- to late December.
“We are in need of a pilot and plane to transport these dogs to their forever homes,” Tarochione said. “Barkhouse contracts with receiving organizations that either already have foster or permanent homes for the animals we are transporting. So, for us, it's important to have these 40 dogs ‘home for the Holidays.’ They are already spoken for. We remain hopeful someone will step up, and the sooner the better.”
Tarochione said she’s hopeful the community will get involved in finding a solution.
“We need your help,” she said. “Use social media, friends, neighbors and word of mouth to help us get these ‘furbabies’ home.”