By Kym Gable

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A plane carrying 30 special passengers landed in Pittsburgh Saturday night, and they’re all headed to new homes.

Anxious and excited, families and volunteers got their first glimpse of the plane taxiing on the tarmac at the Allegheny County Airport.

When the team started off-loading the precious cargo, the full scope of the rescue operation started to set in.

Future animal rescue pilot Shane is one of the new permanent pet owners.

“I think it’s pretty amazing that people would do this,” said Shane. “Given the opportunity to save 30 dogs, it’s a big deal, so I think it’s great.”

The Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team (PAART) flew to Virginia Saturday evening and whisked away 30 dogs that were scheduled to be euthanized.

“There’s a rescue group down there that has reached out via social media to different groups all across the country, they found us and we’re able to cover great distances in very small times,” said Brad Childs, a co-founder of PAART.

From playful pups just a few months old to newborns that haven’t even opened their eyes yet, 15 of the dogs are off to Buffalo, N.Y. in the morning.

The other 15 will stay in Pittsburgh.

“It’s really an awesome experience, there’s like over 30 dogs here and newborn puppies,” said Casey Schreiner, one of the new pet owners.

“Thirty families, when this is all said and done will hopefully have a dog for the holidays and these dogs will be with them for many holidays to come,” added Childs.

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