BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tri-City Aviation is working as a liaison, transporting 17 puppies from as far as Wilson County, Texas to Robbinsville, New Jersey with a group called Pilots to the Rescue.

The Wilson County No Kill Animal Shelter van left Texas Friday at 1 p.m.

Driver of the van Amanda Leifeste said programs like Pilots to the Rescue that help relieve overcrowded animal shelters by transporting them to other facilities is much needed.

“Everybody is overpopulated. They’re filling up and there is no room in the shelters,” said Leifeste. “There’s not very many adoptions going out. Things kind of have turned to a stand still.”

And Leifeste believes there are other ways to help this issue too.

“But, also what helps is the different states having different laws regarding dogs and your ownership of the dogs and being responsible and a responsible pet owner also would help as well,” said Leifeste.

As their flight arrives and the puppies are strapped in, founder of Pilots to the Rescue Michael Schneider reassures that the puppies do well on the trip.

“Generally speaking, the animals, they just go to sleep because there is less oxygen at the altitudes that we fly at,” said Schneider. “We can’t go above 8,000 feet because that’s their ceiling. If we go above 8,000 feet they become hypoxic and they could die.”

He says up north, they work to find these animals a home.

“And up in the Northeast where we typically fly them to, they do a really good job at adopting out rescues. It’s in fashion,” said Schneider.

The puppies are being adopted out by the Amazing Mutts Puppy Rescue in New Jersey.