HAWS/Humane Animal Welfare Society Staff
A plane flying from New Orleans to Wisconsin crashed Tuesday morning just outside Milwaukee. There were 53 rescue dogs.
The twin-engine turboprop plane crashed on the green of Western Lakes Golf Club in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, just west of town. It was a “catastrophic” landing that severed the plane’s wings, Matthew Haerter, assistant chief of Lake Country Fire and Rescue, said Tuesday at a news conference.
“They came to rest several hundred feet past where they originally tried to place the plane,” he said.
All three people and 53 dogs on the plane survived, although all three people and some puppies suffered minor injuries. Staff vets sent 21 of the dogs to the Humane Animal Welfare Society for further treatment, and the rest to other area shelters, according to The Washington Post.
Maggie Tate-Techtmann, director of the Humane Animal Welfare Society, told the press conference that all dogs will be available for adoption in the coming days as soon as they are ready.
“It’s just about comforting them and taking care of them,” Tate-Techtmann said. “Every animal is different, just like us, so we’re all going to react a little differently, but between our behavioral care and our medical care, I’m very confident that we can put them all at ease.”
Tony Wasielewski, the deputy fire chief who was part of the wreckage response team, has already brought one of the puppies home, naming her CeeCee.
HAWS raised $7,000 over three days to help cover “medical and other contingencies” related to the crash.
This was one of HAWS’ regular trips carrying at-risk adoptable dogs from Southern states to shelters in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the Washington Post reported. These trips serve to make space for other animals in overcrowded shelters in the South, said Jennifer Smieja, communications and media specialist at HAWS. Spay and neuter programs, which remove animals’ reproductive organs, are more common in Waukesha and lead to less pet overpopulation in that area, she said.
“We have lots of adoptive homes waiting for animals here, and we also have room to comfortably house animals in our shelter, so it makes sense for us to work together and welcome those in need. with the end result being much less euthanasia,” Smieja said.
These trips usually take place twice a month and most are done by van.
“While van transport is more common, we receive airlift on average about every 6 weeks, depending on need and if flight operators have sponsorship,” she said.
Approximately 300 gallons of jet fuel spilled onto the golf course and into a swamp, as most of the plane’s fuel was stored in the plane’s wings.
Kerosene is highly flammable when exposed to an ignition source, but because “the vast majority” of the fuel evaporated in the crash, Haerter said the current situation is “more of an environmental issue. than a fire problem”.
“We’re taking measures there to keep the fuel in and prevent any runoff from the swamp,” Haerter said.