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Future is Brighter for Dogs from Arkansas

HSUS Board Members Arrange Canine Airlift to New Homes in Maine

The Humane Society of the United States

When Anita Coupe's dog Cody died in June, he left a huge hole in her heart. As chair of the board of directors of The Humane Society of the United States, Coupe knows all too well that millions of dogs and cats in animal shelters and rescue groups need new homes, and she wanted to give another animal a chance.

Coupe's decision to adopt a dog set off a series of events that will result in a plane full of dogs leaving Arkansas today and arriving at the airport in Portland, Maine this evening. Eight of the 10 dogs will be placed for adoption by Lucky Pups Rescue in Kennebunkport, Maine, and two Labrador retriever mixes named Ben and Leo will be going home with Coupe. 

Coupe found Ben and Leo on the website of a dog rescue group. The two dogs are closely bonded, and it had been difficult for Allison Carroll, a volunteer with PAWS of Marion in Marion, Ark., to find someone willing to keep them together.

"Finding a home for the two dogs to stay together was a challenge," said Carroll. "Now they will finally have the lives that all dogs deserve, with lots of love and proper medical care. We have no doubt that Ben and Leo will receive all of that and more from the Coupes."

Because of a heart worm diagnosis the dogs were not good candidates to make the trip by automobile. When fellow HSUS board member Dwight Lowell heard about Coupe's efforts, he donated a few hours of flight time from his 25-hour jet card to transport the dogs comfortably to Maine in a private jet aircraft. Dwight and his wife Kimberly originally purchased a jet card so that they could travel with their late dog Chrissie; and by transporting these dogs, they could put their remaining unused hours to good use.


"I'm so gratified knowing that these ten dogs have a brighter future, and hope that this story inspires others to save a dog in need," said Lowell.

Once the plans for the flight were in place, Coupe wanted to make good use of the additional capacity to bring more dogs to Maine where they have a better chance of being adopted. Lowell and the airline were willing to place more dogs on the flight. PAWS of Marion agreed to give Coupe custody of 10 dogs, and arranged for health certificates to allow the dogs to travel to Maine. Once they arrive, the dogs will be evaluated and then placed for adoption by Lucky Pups Rescue.

"I can't wait to have Ben and Leo home with me and my husband Brad, and to be able to save the lives of the other dogs in addition to the two I plan to adopt is the icing on the cake," said Coupe.

There are five reasons why everyone should follow Coupe's example and adopt their next pet:

  • You'll save a life. Between 3 and 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters every year. Home foreclosures and unemployment have increased the number of pets surrendered to shelters. These animals need homes.
  • You'll get a healthy pet. Animal shelters are brimming with happy, healthy animals just waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelters examine and vaccinate animals, and many spay or neuter them before being adopted. Many shelters also screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors to make sure each family finds the right pet.
  • You'll save money. Adopting a pet is much less expensive than buying an animal.
  • You'll feel better. Pets have a way of putting a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial. Caring for a companion animal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation in all age groups. Pets can help your physical health as well — just spending time with an animal can help lower a person's blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • You won't be supporting puppy mills. Many of the dogs sold in pet stores and online come from puppy mills, which are mass dog production facilities that put profits above the well-being of the animals.

Photos of the dogs are available upon request.


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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

PAWS of Marion seeks forever homes for adorable dogs that deserve a chance in Marion, Ark. People for Animal Welfare Society/ Pets Are Worth Saving is a volunteer-led organization. On the web at petsworthsaving.blogspot.com.

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