Hampton, SC, March 2022 – In recent months, the Hampton County Animal Shelter has faced overcrowded conditions -- with the shelter overwhelmed by people dumping whole litters of unwanted puppies, including two large litters in the last month. With the shelter already over-capacity, when someone again dumped an entire litter of puppies at the shelter’s gate in late February, they were looking at having to start euthanizing animals due to overcrowding and lack of space – until the Palmetto Animal League, pilot John Doig -- and the Hampton County Airport literally came to the rescue.
John Doig, a young pilot who recently moved to Varnville with his wife, keeps his plane at the airport and volunteered to fly one of the litters to a rescue in Connecticut. Palmetto Animal League handled all details to arrange for this special transport, and Doig safely transported the sweet puppies to their destination -- the New Fairfield/Sherman Animal Welfare Society -- safely.
“Animal rescue is bittersweet. There is no better feeling than being able to save a life, but at the same time you are exposed to the unspeakable cruelty some of these animals suffer,” said Doig. “My wife Carissa and I have been involved in animal rescue for a long time, and have been flying regular animal transport flights for local shelters for years. I figure we must have transported over 500 dogs and cats by now. We love being able to combine our love of aviation with our love of animals.”
Doig also noted the importance of being able to fly out of the Hampton County Airport and the role that the airport is playing in these safe transports.
“Whereas we previously flew out of Ridgeland, it is great to be now based at an airport that is so close, and we were excited to do our first transport with Hampton County Animal Shelter,” he said. “We are very excited about the improvements being made at the airport that will allow for flights to also be made at night and in less than perfect weather.”
Amanda Strickland, manager of the Hampton County Animal Shelter, is thankful and grateful to the Palmetto Animal League for setting up this important transport, and to Doig for flying the litter to a shelter he knew would be able to care for these puppies.
"The five puppies who went on the flight were dumped outside our shelter a few weeks back, then eight more were dropped at the shelter gate the Friday before the flight which left us very overcrowded,” Strickland said. “Those puppies have since gone to another rescue, not by flight. Palmetto Animal League arranged the flight for us and we did all the vetting and preparation for the transfer. We're very thankful to them and John.”
In addition to the five puppies, the flight carried 2 cats and a hound from Palmetto Animal League.
To learn more or see adoptable pets, people can follow the Hampton County Animal Shelter at www.facebook.com/hamptoncountyanimalshelter.