A plane full of rescued small breed dogs has landed in Bradley. Here’s how you can adopt. – Hartford Courant

A plane full of more than 60 puppies and adult dogs rescued from puppy mills across the Midwest arrived at Windsor Locks Bradley International Airport on Thursday afternoon. Many puppies will be available for adoption by families in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Humane Society supports a portion of the dogs, said CHS spokesperson Kathryn Schubert. Rescue organizations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts will take the rest of the dogs, which came from Missouri, Schubert said.

Dogs will be medically examined before being offered for adoption.

“Screenings will take anywhere from three days to six months depending on the needs of the animals. Do they need to be socialized? Do they need medical treatment? Should they be quarantined? Do they need foster homes first? said Schubert.

She added that the dogs are small breeds, such as French Bulldogs, Poodles and Shih Tzus.

Transporting the dogs to the northeast was coordinated by National Mill Dog Rescue, with assistance from the BISSELL Pet Foundation and Race for Life Rescue.

Schubert said that in many states, the supply of puppies exceeds the demand for puppies, resulting in overcrowded shelters. There are many reasons for this problem, she said, including the widespread lack of access to spaying and neutering facilities and the aftermath of the COVID boom years in pet adoption.

“With COVID, there has been a large influx to meet demand. This [influx] didn’t calm down at all. Many dogs were bred for a demand that is no longer so present. There were a lot of surrenders,” she said.

Other reasons are the differing state and municipal legal statuses of large-scale commercial breeders (sometimes called “puppy mills”) and the requirements of pet stores obtaining their dogs from breeders.

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“A lot depends on what characteristics stores look for in dogs. They want specific breeds. If those breeds usually have coloring that is very particular to that breed, they want dogs to have that coloring. For example, if a dog is supposed to to be tricolor and it’s not, stores won’t buy it,” she said.

Many mature puppies on the plane are dogs that were used for breeding that breeders no longer want because they are getting older, she said.

“It’s not in the animals’ best interests,” Schubert said. “Rather than slaughtering the animals, there are options for them.”

BISSELL’s Kim Alboum said New England shelters have room to spare. She said one of BISSELL’s goals is to encourage people to look at shelters first when adopting a pet.

“We can’t wait to see if it does what we want it to do, guiding people to shelters,” Alboum said. “If we can increase foot traffic in shelters, we can increase adoption at all levels.”

Families who want a dog can visit cthumane.org/adopt. The page is constantly being updated, so check back frequently.

Susan Dunne can be contacted at [email protected].

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