First responders who rescued 53 dogs from a plane crash in Wisconsin last week have welcomed the canines into their homes.
Multiple news sources said that on Tuesday, a big twin-engine plane from Louisiana that was taking dogs to shelters in southeast Wisconsin ran into trouble and crashed on a golf course at the Western Lakes Golf Club in Pewaukee.
ABC News said that all of the people and animals on board survived the crash.
Three people onboard suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital, and some of the dogs endured minor injuries like bumps and scrapes, according to authorities.
A few days later, the people who helped with the situation offered to take the dogs in.
“As soon as I heard they were all okay, my first thought was that I would take one of them home with me.
So this is my little Lucky,” Elle Steitzer, a firefighter and EMT at Lake Country Fire Rescue, told WISN while holding her newly adopted puppy.
While showing off her new canine companion, Amber Christian, a firefighter and paramedic at the department told WISN that her new dog Artemis “just kind of fell out of the sky in front of me, so here he is.”
Deputy Chief Tony Wasielewski said that when he got to the scene of the crash, his newly adopted dog Marley jumped into his arms.
Charmed by the gesture, the officer went to look for Marley the next day at the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, which sheltered 21 of the dogs from the crash, according to ABC News.
Speaking to WISN, Wasielewski said: “When they opened the door, she ran past my wife and straight to me. She sort of jumped into my arms and kissed me. I got a little teary-eyed and said, “Oh boy, I guess we got a dog.””
After the accident, the dogs were taken to shelters in different counties all over Wisconsin.
According to ABC News, Elmbrook Humane Society, which took in 11 of the dogs, said the organization had received “quite a few” calls from the first responders inquiring about the animals.
A front desk manager at Elmbrook, Stephanie Deswarte, said, “We usually don’t let people adopt until they’re on our website. We want to give everyone as fair a chance as possible.”
“But since they were obviously in the thick of it, and they did such a great job trying to help with the whole crazy situation, we gave all first responders first dibs, so to speak, to adopt before they went up on the website.”
Deswarte said three puppies — Charlie Brown, Linus and Sally — have also been adopted by others involved in the rescue mission, including an employee at the golf course and two other first responders.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Matthew Haerter, assistant chief at Lake Country Fire and Rescue, praised the pilot involved in the crash, telling reporters: “This was a relatively catastrophic landing,” according to the Washington Post.
Per the outlet, the cause of the crash is still unclear and the case is currently under investigation by The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.