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Pilots N Paws

Zach Zooms

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Zach’s Plan:

  • 1100 meet Phyllis with 5-6 Labs at Riverside Airport.
  • 1400 meet Diane and The Grace Foundation to drop off the Labs at Cameron Airpark and pick up the Rat Terrier.
  • 1445 meet someone and pick up the Bichon at Nut Tree Airport.
  • 1700 meet Buffy and Nimmi at Signature Aviation at John Wayne Airport.

So, how close was he to schedule? Read on…

The trip started with six labs that needed to go up to The Grace Foundation near Sacramento. Zach picked up the labs at Riverside Airport near Los Angeles, and as you could imagine getting six labs in the back of a small plane wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Luckily, they had the help of Rodger, who works at the airport. One pup had a little cough, so he got to ride in the copilot’s seat. The other five were all in the back. It was very hot on the ground, and Zach couldn’t wait to fire up the plane and get some cool airflow inside, not to mention the calming effect that a running plane has on the rowdy passengers.

Just as Zach was getting ready to push the start button, a nice gentleman from the FAA walked up to “Ramp Check” him. After watching the loading of six big dogs in the back of a light airplane he was concerned about weight and balance in the aircraft. Zack produced the required documents and answered his questions quickly so the crew could be on their way.

"Airworthiness, Registration, Operating Limits, and Weight & Balance" please.

Strong headwinds and bumpy air was on the ticket as the group climbed out of Los Angeles. Zack climbed higher than normal to try and find smooth air, but it didn’t get better until they were approaching Bakersfield. Once they were up at cruise, the pups all went to sleep except the little guy up front that kept Zach company on the three hour flight.

The entourage landed at Cameron Airpark near Sacramento and was met by Diane and a team from The Grace Foundation. Zach plucked the dogs out one by one, saving the two big ones for last, and handed each one to someone on the ground. After counting to make sure that each of the three cars had two dogs in it they were on their way.

A quick aside to pick up some fuel, and the plane was off with a new passenger. Little Amondo the Rat Terrier was on board, and the two flew over to Nut Tree Airport just 49 miles away. Amondo was introduced to Layla the Bichon, and they got along very well. Zach decided not to crate either one and just allowed them roam the back of the plane. It wasn’t long after take off that Amondo wanted a better view up front and sure enough Layla followed. The three had a very nice flight home and arrived at John Wayne Airport in Orange County just about an hour and half later than the original plan. The manager on duty at Signature Aviation was kinda enough to waive the handling fees for the flight.

A little more about Layla from the savior that started her journey to a better life…

I work at a veterinary hospital and am also a volunteer with Bayareapoodle rescue and bichonfurkids. I have worked with Buffy in the past as well. I got a notification of dogs at the Sacramento shelter that were in need of rescue. I noticed Layla, but we were full at the time. I contacted Buffy to see if she had space, in return we would vet Layla, hold her at the clinic, and find transportation south. The dogs are well cared for here, loved interacted with, and of course groomed and treated. They experience a warm bed, blanket, food, and most of all lots of love.

Layla was an owner surrender to the shelter. She will be 2 in July and has only expierienced living outside. Her owner could not sleep because she would bark, so Layla was surrendered to the shelter. She went into rescue because she would growl when someone approached the kennel but once they opened the kennel door she was fine.

When she came into our care she was covered in feces, had a coat severly matted to the skin, and had horrible fleas. She also had diarreah caused from stress and a change of her diet. The first thing we did did was to relieve her of those matts. Our wonderful groomer that works with all the rescue dogs was patient with her and was able to get her salved down and cleaned up. Her poor little hind end was raw from the feces that were stuck to her and all the stomach issues she had. We began treating her and checked for parasites, heartworm, etc.

She is a sweet, wonderful girl that deserves to be in a good home where she knows how much she is loved and only go outside if she chooses to for excercise. Thanks to Buffy and the team of Bichon Brigades this will happen for her. I am grateful for Zach who was able to transport her to her destination. You are all so much appreciated thank you.


4 thoughts on “Zach Zooms”

  1. Susan Metzler says:

    Awwww! Love all of you involved in this life-saving event!

  2. Diane Gorham says:

    This is just so wonderful and very sweet!! Thanks for what you do!!

  3. Laine Kelly says:

    I am so impressed! What wonderful people, and Zack, you’re my hero! A simple “thank you’ is just not enough! Thanks for all you do!!!!!

  4. Rita Bennett says:

    Zach, What you are doing is wonderful. I am so pleased to see a Pilots N Paws pilot in our area. My son, Jeff Bennett, is a pilot flying from the Florida Keys. I am disappointed that I am unable to join him on his rescue flights but if you ever want a helper please let me know. I live in South County, am a former pilot and will be at SNA in a minute to help. Bless you for what you are doung.

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