Southside, Pennsylvania nonprofit rescue 33 puppies despite snowstorm

Puppies taken to North Shore Animal League in New York for adoption

HENRY COUNTY, Va. – Video from the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team documents the pick up of puppies from the Martinsville Henry County SPCA on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team co-founder and pilot Jonathan Plesset said the two organizations have worked together many times, but never using a plane.

"This was a mission that was supposed to go the previous day by ground, and obviously the snow had something to say about that," said Plesset.

The organization hurriedly tried to figure out what to do, not wanting to miss an opportunity to help rescue the puppies.

"For us, the pilots, this is our first chance to see the incredible cuteness of these animals up close. Usually, we're looking at them in pictures," Plesset said. "When you see those eyes looking at you and you can sense that these dogs know something good is about to happen, that is a feeling that never ever gets old."

Using the plane also prevented the SPCA from having to house the 33 puppies.

With the SPCA already facing a big budget deficit, SPCA donor relations coordinator Catherine Gupton said housing the puppies would have been tough.

"It would have definitely put a strain on us because it's food that we didn't account for, it's extra chemicals for cleaning," Gupton explained.

Several other rescued puppies are currently housed at the SPCA to be adopted out locally.

The 33 picked up Tuesday will be taken to the North Shore Animal League in New York for adoption.

SPCA maintenance manager Jerry Harris helped with the pickup and called the experience unique.

"It was a very unique experience getting them ready, getting them loaded, and getting them up to the airport," Harris said.

An experience that, despite her best effort, Mother Nature couldn't prevent.

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