PEWAUKEE — A plane carrying dozens of dogs made an emergency landing at Western Lakes Golf Course in Pewaukee on Tuesday.
The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department said in a statement deputies responded around 9 a.m. to the golf course. The plane received "significant" damage and stopped at the third hole of the course.
"This was a relatively catastrophic landing where they went through trees. The wings actually came off of the aircraft," said Assistant Chief Matthew Haerter with Lake Country Fire and Rescue.
A total of three adults and 53 dogs were on board during the crash, authorities said. All three passengers and some of the dogs received minor injuries. [Photos of the dogs further in this article].
"The pilot and his copilot did an amazing job getting this aircraft on the ground that they did," Haerter said.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.
HAWS said the dogs are at-risk adoptable dogs from southern shelters. They are expected to be placed up for adoption in the coming days.
"I think we were all unsure about what we were going to be arriving to but very grateful that everyone is safe," said Maggie Tate-Techtmann, director of organizational development at HAWS of Waukesha County.
No word on what exactly caused plane troubles. There is some concern about 300 gallons of jet fuel leaking into the ground and a marsh. Haerter said the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is mitigating the situation and fire personnel worked to prevent further runoff.
The head PGA professional at the course, Garrett Mack, tells Wisconsin Golf that workers at the course jumped into action after seeing the plane land. They helped remove dogs from damaged crates and load them into vans.
“We’re all dog owners and dog lovers here, so being able to help out and do what we can was just really important to us. Obviously, the dogs were stressed. There were a lot of damaged crates, so unfortunately there were some that kind of got bounced around the cabin when it came down. But all the dogs are accounted for. Aside from being scared, they all seemed to be in pretty good shape," Mack said, according to Wisconsin Golf.
Tate-Techtmann said the unexpected landing stretched their resources to respond. HAWS of Waukesha County started a fundraiser to help support their efforts.
Now for the moment you all have been waiting for... photos of the adoptable dogs! Info on adopting can be found on HAWS' website.