WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. — Dozens of dogs are getting ready for adoption after a plane made an emergency landing at a Pewaukee golf course.
The plane, carrying 53 dogs from the southern states, was a planned transport coordinated by the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County. However, the plane did not make it to the Waukesha County Airport and instead made a rough landing at Western Lakes Golf Club.
Mike Bindel, golf course superintendent, was at work. He and his coworkers rushed to help the people and animals on board in the aftermath.
"They stepped up to the plate. I can't thank them enough; they did such a wonderful job," Bindel said.
Bindel was overjoyed when he reunited with Sally, a 10-week-old puppy, at the Elmbrook Humane Society. He found Sally outside of her crate and tried to keep her warm.
"Yesterday she was shaking like a leaf," Bindel said.
Thankfully, everyone was safe.
"I talked to my mom last night and she goes, 'Maybe this is a sign that dogs do fall out of heaven,'" Bindel shared.
The Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County (HAWS of Waukesha County) triaged all 53 dogs before a little more than half went to partner shelters like Elmbrook.
Volunteers at HAWS spent time comforting the 21 that stayed, which have been dubbed "Western lakes loves."
At least seven of the dogs at HAWS were ready for adoption by Wednesday. The remaining dogs will be ready after they are spayed and neutered.
"It felt really appropriate to also recognize our friends at Western Lakes that really stepped in yesterday to make sure that everyone involved was safe and well cared for," said Maggie Tate-Techtmann, director of organizational development at HAWS of Waukesha County.
"Our incredible friends at Stella and Chewy's have stepped up and offered to cover the adoption fees for all 21 of the Western Lakes Loves that are here at the shelter, which is amazing," Tate-Techtmann said.
TMJ4 News has learned some first responders with Lake Country Fire and Rescue are in the process of adopting a dog.
Greater Good Charities which worked with HAWS confirmed one of their team members was among the three adults on the plane. They released a statement saying in part:
"All pets and crew are safe. There was one Greater Good Charities’ team member, and two pilots onboard the flight. As always, safety for the pilots, our team, and the pets, on our flights is our number one concern.
We are extremely grateful to the heroic pilots and that no one (human or pet) suffered life-threatening injuries. Our Greater Good Charities team member is safe and has been discharged from observation. All dogs are being cared for by veterinary staff and will be placed for adoption in the coming days."
The investigation into the what caused the emergency landing is ongoing.
HAWS began a fundraiser with a goal of $20,000 to help with unexpected costs. By Wednesday afternoon, donations reached approximately $12,000.