More than 1,000 dogs find life in New York thanks to Stunkel, crew

Julye Keeble

Staff writer

When Humane Society of Uvalde volunteer Heather Stunkel took a rescued puppy from Uvalde on a flight to be re-homed in New York in 2013, she didn’t realize she was starting a program that would save the lives of more than 1,000 canines, as of tomorrow.

The Friday trip will mark the landmark accomplishment of over 1,000 dogs saved from euthanasia by the program, originated by Stunkel and staffed by herself and a group of dedicated dog-loving volunteers willing to offer their time and hearts to the cause.

Stunkel says the journey will be the group’s largest transport yet, with more than 60 dogs traveling to rescue organizations in New York.

She also says the group has achieved so much due to help from within the community.

“I couldn’t do any of this without our amazing volunteers and foster families. Their dedication to helping these dogs amazes me daily, every time we think we are full or we come up against a new obstacle, our team rallies and comes together,” Stunkel said.

“Our first rescue was in 2013. My husband found a tiny puppy on the side of the road. While we didn’t have a name back then and had no idea what we were starting or how this would grow, we do consider Tessa our first rescue. Tessa flew back to New York with us in the cabin on a trip back to visit family,” Stunkel said of the origins of her “Flights to Furever” canine transport rescue program.


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