Stacy Silva took Charlie for a quick walk before his trip to Oregon.
Courtesy Photo

Fifty-one lucky dogs from Santa Barbara shelters took one-way flights to no-kill facilities in Idaho, Oregon, and Montana this week as part of a new collaboration with Wings of Rescue. The Van Nuys nonprofit staffed by volunteers and big-hearted pilots picked up the dogs at the Santa Barbara Airport on Saturday, said Stacy Silva with County Animal Services.

The $6,250 in transportation costs was covered by donations through The Dog Adoption Welfare Group (DAWG); 37 of the dogs came from county facilities, and 17 from DAWG. Silva said it was the first time DAWG and her agency worked with Wings of Rescue, and explained she’d certainly be open to it again if funds become available. “We just want to thank DAWG for sponsoring this trip,” she said. “It really makes a big difference.”

Silva said they chose dogs that had been sitting in Santa Barbara shelters for a long time and had been difficult to adopt for one reason or another, noting many of the fliers were chihuahuas. She said there are currently 159 dogs in Animal Services shelters. While the Santa Barbara branch is forced to euthanize relatively few animals, the Santa Maria and Lompoc locations often struggle with overcrowding.

For more information on adoptions, licensing, and the county’s Responsible Pet Owner Ordinance, visit


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