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Pilots N Paws

“Kicker” will NOT be kicked to the curb!

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We received a call from John Lee, one of our dedicated pilots in Ohio who had heard about a military family from his area who were recently transferred to Florida.  They have a wonderful pitbull named “Kicker” who they found on the streets and raised from the time he was 4 weeks old.  Both owners served in our military with many tours in Iraq.  Moving to Florida was necessary for medical treatment. 


Pilot Art Decker with ground transport volunteer Rudolph and Kicker!


They loaded up their belongings and their precious dog “Kicker” only to find out the temporary apartment they were renting permitted dogs but had a breed restriction against pitbulls.  It didn’t matter that Kicker was a kind, sweet, gentle dog who was good with other dogs, kids, even cats, he was not welcome there.  So what to do??  A family member back in Ohio stepped up to foster Kicker and give him a home until  he could move back to Florida and be with his family.  Enter a number of caring people to help this family keep their beloved dog.

Kicker all settled in for his first class flight!

A call was made to a friend at Lakeland SPCA who suggested we call the Humane Society of Tampa Bay because they have military temp foster program.  One problem– the temp foster program was only available for two months of fostering.  Time is running out, the family needs to move into their apartment the following day with still no temp home for Kicker.  Pam Backer with HS of Tampa Bay said “bring him here, we will find a spot for him until transport can be arranged”  Woohoo, thank you Pam!

Word went out to pilots and as luck would have it, our passionate pilot Art Dryer and his wife Patty were headed from West Palm to NC that weekend.  Generous ground transport volunteers Corinne and husband Rudolph said no problem, we will drive Kicker from Tampa to meet Art at an airport of his choice along the route.  HUGE THANKS to Corinne and Rudolph.  Pilot Ron Henderson set aside all plans and agreed to fly down to NC, pick up Kicker, and deliver him to the family member in Kentucky. Ron, you are a hero!

Kicker with his sky angels Ron Henderson, Art and Patty Dryer

Kicker is safe with his temporary family, romping and playing with their three year old son until his owners move into their new home, hopefully in just six months time.

We thank every single person who literally went the extra mile to help this military family save their dog and keep him a part of their lives.  We appreciate your service to our country and your love for your dog!  Wishing all of you a happy life.

Please remember to support and thank our partners Subaru and Petmate for walking hand in hand with Pilots N Paws to continue to help animals in need.


One thought on ““Kicker” will NOT be kicked to the curb!”

  1. Kay Breeden says:

    What a heartwarming story! It’s good to hear that there are other Pitbull owners and lovers out there willing to help. I am a Pitbull owner myself and I catch lots of grief because of it! I know how it feels to be turned down for housing because of my dog “Bella”. I was in the military too, and wanted to say thanks for your service to our country! God bless you both and Kicker too!

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