CONCORD, NC (WBTV) - A litter of puppies are given a second chance at life thanks to some help from above.
Mama was a hound dog, Daddy was a traveling man, so it's impossible to tell what kind of puppies the litter of eight consisted of.
One thing's for certain...they sure are cute.
They also wouldn't stand a chance if it weren't for some very caring people.
A rescue group called "Friends and Fur" showed up with the pups at the Concord Regional Airport Wednesday afternoon. Their purpose...get these dogs to loving homes up north.
"This is a huge day and a huge opportunity for the puppies." said Samantha Smith with the organization.
"The mother dog was chained, and they have just been kinda living under a house. They were covered in fleas when we found them."
With the okay from the property owner, the dogs were recovered, taken to the vet, and cleaned up. But there was still a lingering issue.
The problem was they were found locally.
"Southern states tend to have an overpopulation of puppies." Said Candace Honeycutt with the rescue group.
"northern states don't have the issues like we do down here."
The reason for that are the regulations concerning spaying and neutering of animals. The north is very restrictive on dogs breeding, so there is large lack of puppies available for adoption.
In the south, the restrictions are much more lax, hence an overabundance of unwanted animals desperate for homes.
Smith says large litters are often dumped off at local animal shelters, and many rescue groups don't have the resources to get them out.
Many die before they can get forever homes.
"They wouldn't have made it, they were so full of worms." said Smith. "They would have died."
But not today.
A group of recreational and professional pilots are giving a little help from above.
"We're trying to reduce the amount of animals that are killed in shelters all over the country." said Scott Messinger, a business owner from Pennsylvania. He's been saving lives from 10,000 feet for almost three years.
"Sometimes transportation is the only thing standing in the way of a dog living or dying."
Messinger is with a group called "Pilots And Paws". It's an all volunteer air group that transports unwanted animals here, to rescue groups up the coast.
There, the puppies are guaranteed loving and caring homes.
This litter of four boys and four girls is headed up to Long Island, where another rescue group anxiously awaits their arrival.
With a few tears, and a lot of hugs, the dogs are carefully loaded into the back of the plane before it taxied it's way for takeoff.
The flight took just over two hours, but the good deed done today, will last a lifetime.
If you'd like to help, you can contact "Pilots and Paws" on their website - www.pilotsnpaws.org.