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Pilots N Paws

One to Fourteen

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One person’s desire to help a 17 pound Mini Schnauzer named Bandit turned into a coordinated group effort that ended up touching the lives of 14 dogs and probably just as many humans. Talk about your basic ripple in the water from a single drop!

When Debbie from pulled Bandit from the Seminole County Animal Control, he had bladder stones, peed almost straight blood, and had 14 teeth rotted below the gum. If he had been pulled just one day later, he may not have made it as they took directly from the exam table into surgery. They did a post surgery X-ray and discovered somehow the cath went around a stone lodged in his urethra. So they opened him back up and removed that stone. Through all of this, Bandit never ever showed any behavior to indicate the horrible pain he must have been in.

Dr. Tim and Foster Mom Debbie

Bandit was named after another Schnauzer Love Rescue pup the foster’s sister rescued but he had just died. The lady (Joann) that adopted the lucky dog in this transport had also recently lost her Schnauzer, yep, another Bandit. SLR rarely does adoptions that far away, but for some reason this one felt as if it were meant to be.

When Seminole sent Solo to Debbie, she sent a picture to Doug and also to JoAnne. Doug fell in love but decided that he and his wife work too much to adopt a dog right now. Meanwhile, Bandit and Solo bonded literally over night. When Doug decided not to take Solo, Joann had to have them both. On the ride to hand them over, Doug and his wife just kept saying they made a mistake when they passed on adopting Solo. He has a personality unlike any other.

So, how does one, and then two, turn into 14?  Enter, another, Doug.

Bandit and Solo with forever dad Matt.

Pilot Doug saw a post on PNP for the older schnauzer (Bandit) needing a ride from Orlando to Connecticut, and there was a volunteer offering to fly him from Florida to South Carolina (Dr. Tim Porter, a Vet). Doug offered to do the last leg and then contacted a bunch of other pilots in the Carolinas to see if they could fill the middle leg – Mary Beth stepped up.

However, given they had only one small dog, Doug called a shelter worker in Elizabethtown, NC that he’s worked with in the past (Silvia Kim, A Shelter Friend) to see if (ha ha) she had any other animals she needed to send North.

Silvia found a shelter in Pottstown, PA (Diane Dietch, Diane’s Adoption Center) who could take several more dogs, so they added a mama lab (Mable), her puppy (Buster), another medium husky mix (Thunder) and eight lab/shepherd mix puppies. I also heard from another rescue person looking to send a Belgian Malinois needing to go from FL to SC – a total of 14 dogs going north!

Tim Porter picked up Bandit, Solo, and the Malinois who was hitching a ride on Friday night. He flew them to Columbia, SC on Saturday where the Malinois was dropped off and the Schnauzers were overnighted by Terry (a friend of Debbie’s) – Terry drove them to Lumberton, NC on Sunday morning where they met up with Silvia, the 11 other dogs, and MaryBeth for the second leg of the trip to Tappahonnack, VA. Doug met them there, flew the 11 dogs from NC to Diane in PA and continued on to NJ with the two Schnauzers, who were picked up by their forever home adopters at his parent’s house in NJ. The following day, word got out that the lab puppy, Buster, was also adopted Sunday night.

Solo and Bandit all comfy at home

For everyone who has stretched to their limits to make this work, there are no words that could even begin to thank you enough. How can we not have hope when:  and animal control facility had cared enough to call, Schnauzer Love Rescue found the funds pay for surgery, spouses dealt with yet more strays from the Pound, a vet who saved Bandit by taking him into surgery immediately, the lab that did the stone analysis for free, rescues in the north finding space, overnight fosters opening their homes, parents providing a pickup location, multiple pilots using their skills and funds, and adopters making a permanent place for the rescuees? So manyhours and hours of love from so many just to save two little dogs.