Rescuing animals is a great cause, but many do-gooders don’t think about the cost associated with some of the rescue efforts. Often times, dogs are rescued by animal control and placed in a local shelter, but what happens when a dog needs to go to a breed specific rescue that’s 15 hours away? Some of these rescues set up transportation legs for volunteer drivers, and some rely on Pilots N Paws.
Pilots N Paws is a 501c3 non-profit organization that matches people who rescue animals, shelters, foster homes, and animal rescue organizations with volunteer pilots and plane owners who are willing to assist with the transportation of the animals being rescued. Pilots N Paws does not actually create the travel plans or communicate with either party; they are simply a platform where the two parties can get together.
RELATED: Tips on How to Help a Stray Dog
Through the discussion board on the Pilot N Paws website, the parties involved can exchange information about the transport publicly, so they can set up the entire trip from beginning to end and share all necessary information with everyone involved all in one place. The website also offers a forum for people that want to volunteer to find an effort that they may be able to help with.
The organization is planning their first National Flyway fall flyout of shelter dogs on October 3, 2015. They are looking for pilots from all 50 states to participate. The event builds on the group’s yearly fall regional flyouts. These regional flyouts have been staged at an airport in South Carolina, and pilots from nearby states fly the rescued dogs to shelters in New Jersey, Florida, Washington D.C., and Ohio.
Kathleen Quinn, executive director for Pilots N Paws, says that the national detailed schedule has not been determined yet, but pilots who register will be notified of the progression by email once they register. This year’s flyout is being called “Brock’s Memorial Flight” in memory of the first dog ever flown by Pilots N Paws in 2007.
Debi Boies, co-founder of Pilots N Paws, adopted Brock, a Doberman, and his flight inspired the organization. Quinn says Pilots N Paws now has a network of more than 5,000 pilots and 12,000 non-pilot volunteers who have worked together to save over 75,000 lives. Although their numbers are strong, she says they are always looking for more volunteers.