PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Nearly four dozen dogs arrived in Pittsburgh this weekend, thanks to the efforts of Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team and the Humane Society International.
"We pride ourselves on being the gold standard of animal transportation. We transport at the highest possible levels. Safety is a first, not only for our drivers, but the animals on board," PAART co-founder Brad Childs said.
This was the first voyage for the organization's brand new trailer. Volunteers picked up 43 dogs from John F. Kennedy International Airport airport in New York after pulling them from a dog meat farm outside of Seoul, South Korea.
"The worst we have ever seen. They have never had human contact. They have lived outside in the cold in cages. When you see the animals you will see the kind of condition they are in," PAART pilot Jonathan Plesset said.
PAART worked with Humane Society International to rescue the dogs from deplorable conditions. Now they will be taken to the South Hills to continue their recovery.
"We are one small little cog in a gigantic wheel and we are proud to be a part of it," said Childs.
While the 7,000 mile trip was taxing on the dogs, the group is confident they will make wonderful additions to homes here in Pittsburgh.
"Even on missions that we have done with these same animals from Korea, as soon as we get them, we get them in the van, we start giving them a little bit of love, they reciprocate instantaneously. They start licking you, so we have high hopes for these animals," Plesset said.
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