Cecil’s Angels was created by models and animal activists Ines Romero and Renee Esebag who want to make the world a better place for animals thru activism, volunteering and funding.
Los Angeles September 5th 2015
A few months ago my friend Renee and I had the opportunity to do something really great. We knew of desperate dogs trapped in purgatory, (i.e. overcrowded Los Angeles high kill shelters) of people who rescue these dogs and arrange to fly them to other states for adoption (Wings of Rescue) and our friend with a fancy private jet. It was a no brainer. We had to get them all together and rescue some dogs (and a few kitties).
We arranged to have the volunteer teams from the shelter and the owner of Wings of Rescue (Yehuda Natanel) meet us on the tarmac of Lacy Aviation in Van Nuys at 7am sharp on June 13th. We had, of course, also managed to talk our gracious and generous ‘fancy-jet-owning’ friend into flying these poor pups to Everett, Washington where people were waiting to adopt them. You see, the southern states have an over population problem of dogs and cats (yeah.. not cool.. time to get serious about spaying and neutering ehh??) whereas the northern states have a lack of animals for adoption. Hmm what to do? FLY them there of course which is exactly what Wings Of Rescue have done for the last 4 years to the tune of close to 14k animals saved! How cool are these guys? Yeah. Really. Mind you this has all been done by the determination of founder and pilot Yehuda and other volunteer pilots with private planes and the occasional chartered cargo plane.
So here we are, 7 am, mist in the air and a truck full of kenneled dogs and cats, 25 to be precise, including 1 momma kitty and 4 heartbreakingly cute kittens. Renee and I helped load them into the plane while the pilots looked on in quiet disbelief. In all their years flying our friend around the world in a $20 Mill jet this was decidedly the most unlikely passengers they had ever seen. As 8am (and the jet owner) approached we were slightly nervous as most of the cabin was now loaded with kennels and the noise level was rising with anxious barks and whining. It’s only a 3 hour flight to Everett but our friend may not be prepared for the reality of what was now before him. Thankfully he’s a delightful and animal loving man who was doing this flight out of the goodness of his heart and free of charge and the flight took off as planned.
Upon arrival in Everett 2 vans showed up from local shelters and the volunteers swooped in to collect the precious cargo. The feeling of having just saved these 25 souls who were listed to be euthanized in California that day and who now had new homes waiting for them was incredible! A flame was lit and a fire in our hearts began. We wanted to do more.
On the way home in the car the conversation was fast paced and impassioned. We tossed around ideas about how to proceed and decided to create a non profit organization which would have the ability to give funds to deserving animal rescue/conservation groups of our choosing. We would continue to volunteer and join protests as active animal rights activists ourselves.
A few weeks later ‘Wings’ had a need for volunteers again as they embarked on a huge Chihuahua rescue project involving getting 165 chi’s from California to NYC where anxious adopters awaited. They had raised enough funds to once again charter the cargo plane and the date was set for June 22nd. A total of 6 rescue groups from all over southern California had their chosen chi’s spayed/ neutered, vaccinated, vet checked and transported to Signature Aviation in Van Nuys. Incredible job by tireless volunteers and fantastic donors I must say! My fellow Angel and friend Kellie came with me to help load these pups into the plane on a hot smoggy Monday evening along with about 20 other volunteers. Looking at all the crates sitting on the tarmac I began wondering how in the world they would all fit. And fit they must because a return to the shelter would mean certain death as they were all on the dreaded ‘euth list’. And so it began like a not so graceful tango with two steps forward and one back. Kennels were shuffled around like Tetris pieces amid frantic barking and terrified whimpers. Puppies hid behind their moms and kitties were consoled with gentle whispers. If they only knew this was literally their flight to freedom, safety and love! Incredibly they all fit except 1. There was one ‘foster failure’. A foster mom could not bear the thought of sending her now beloved baby away and asked to keep him.
The kids landed safely in NYC the following morning and 60 lucky ones were met by their new guardians while the rest were adopted within days. Talk about a happy ending!
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Written by Ines Romero of Cecil’s Angels.