Peterborough – BUSINESS – A few weeks ago, a North Star Air Basler BT-67 carrying a precious canine cargo arrived at the Peterborough Airport from a remote Northern Ontario community. Puppies from that dog transfer will be available for adoption on Monday through the Peterborough Humane Society and on Wednesday at the Humane Society of Kawartha Lakes.
After being gathered in the community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake), which is located about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, fifty-eight dogs made the close to five-hour journey aboard a North Star Air flight on Oct. 7th.
North Star Air has taken a key leadership role in the north to help address the pet overpopulation issue in remote fly-in only communities. Committed to playing an active role in making a positive difference within First Nation communities, the Thunder Bay-based airline partnered with the Ontario SPCA’s Provincial Animal Transfer Team and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug to assist with the transfer.
North Star Air sees it role as more than simply providing passenger service and cargo transport to the north. The company is engaged in a number of efforts to assist and enhance their partner communities. Another of the key components of North Star Air’s engagement with communities is to follow the specific protocols that the community sets.
Frank Kelner, the CEO and President of North Star Air says, “The dogs and the cats are a big thing. Animals have feelings too. Our animals give us smiles and happiness, and when we can help make it better for them, it is a good thing”.
The Provincial Animal Transfer Team was established by the Ontario SPCA and is made up of volunteers and organizations from all across Ontario, working to help move animals across the province to shelters where they can find new homes.
After North Star Air’s yellow and black Basler BT-67 plane landed on the tarmac at the Peterborough Airport, the dogs were unloaded and brought into a hangar where they were triaged by a team of volunteers, including veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
Once cleared for further transport, the dogs were brought to the Peterborough Humane Society, the North Bay & District Humane Society, the Welland & District Humane Society, the Sarnia & District Humane Society, the Humane Society of Kawartha Lakes and the Quinte Humane Society to be placed into their adoption programs.
“One thing is clear; it takes many partners to successfully transfer so many dogs, with the challenge with the remoteness in northern Ontario communities, with key support from North Star Air as key airline carrier, gave these puppies a second chance by giving them a temporary set of wings to find their forever homes,” said Andrew Fraser, Executive Director of the Peterborough Humane Society.
“One of our goals at North Star Air is helping the communities and people in the north,” commented Mary-Ellen Thomas, Commercial, PR, Sales & Marketing of North Star Air Ltd. “There are many of our partner communities where the pet overpopulation presents a real problem. The Basler BT 67 is one of the perfect fits for this program as it has the room for the dogs to safely be transported out of the communities.”