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Pilots N Paws

Pilots N Paws Takes to the Air to Rescue Dogs

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By Wendy Wilson


Amato wanted to get to his new foster home — but he needed some help.

The one-year-old male American pit bull terrier was found wandering on the streets in October by the Artesia Police Department in New Mexico. Believed to have been a bait dog in a dog-fighting ring, the pup had fresh puncture wounds on his face, a torn tear duct, a torn eyelid, bitten off ears and an unprofessionally amputated right rear foot, according to police records.

Local veterinarians and animal control treated and stabilized the brindle-and-white beauty, but he needed to get to Pueblo, Colorado, where his foster mom Ellen lives. She had the skills, abilities and compassion to care for the dog’s still-healing physical and emotional wounds, but not the means to bring him home.

Pilots N Paws came to the rescue.

The volunteer organization, which pairs pilots with animals in need of transport, matched pilot Kriss with caregiver Ellen — and Amato was home in his foster parent’s arms within three short hours.

Amato’s story is just one example of the thousands of transports facilitated by Pilots N Paws

Wings for Needy Pets

The nonprofit organization, based in Landrum, North Carolina, which has been serving the pet community since 2008, hosts a forum on its website for rescue groups, shelters, foster parents, and pilots and plane owners to connect.

“PNP provides an environment in which those involved can come together in a common place and arrange or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter and all other related activities,” reads the PNP website.

The almost 2,500 private pilots who are a part of PNP volunteer their airplanes, flying skills and time to transport animals. More than 8,000 on-the-ground volunteers also donate their talents and time to help. They check the PNP forum board daily to see if pets in their area need assistance.

Since the organization was founded in 2008, thousands of lives have been saved by the volunteers of PNP. But it’s not just dogs like Amato who have been saved, says PNP. The group also rescues cats, pigs reptiles, rabbits — just about any pet that can be transported using a plane, though certain criteria must be met first by the rescue organization or individual seeking assistance.

“Pet overpopulation is a disturbing problem in the United States,” says the PNP website. “More than 4 million no-longer-wanted pets are euthanized each year. Until now, there have been few options for these innocent victims. Pilots N Paws is helping to change that.”

A Dream Turned Reality



Animal-lover Debi Boies and pilot Jon Wehrenberg founded Pilots N Paws four years ago.

“Jon agreed to help Debi by flying a rescued Doberman from Florida to South Carolina to save the dog’s life,” says the PNP website. “The trip was a success and the two brainstormed on how to rescue other animals.”

Though spay and neuter campaigns in some parts of the country were successful in reducing pet overpopulation, campaigns in other parts — particularly in the south — weren’t so successful. They needed help, and PNP stepped up.

“There had to be a way to turn a problem into a solution,” says the PNP website. “Pets were dying needlessly. They needed transport.” Boies and Wehrenberg then launched the website to connect pilots with those in need of relocation assistance. “The dream became a reality,” the PNP website says.

The 501(c)(3) organization now has the support of sponsors Subaru and Petmate, as well as dozens of business supporters and honored partners. They continue to welcome donations and support from pet lovers worldwide.

A Grateful Dog

As for Amato? He’s thriving in his mile-high home.

His leg has healed, and he runs well on three legs as he romps with other dogs. He sleeps at the foot of Ellen’s bed and rarely lets her out of his sight. “He is strong and energetic, building on the healthy foundation he was lovingly provided down in Artesia, New Mexico,” says the PNP website.

Amato’s happiness was made possible — in part — by the selfless efforts of Pilots N Paws volunteers.

For more information about how you can volunteer for Pilots N Paws, please visit www.pilotsnpaws.org.
Read more: http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-rescue/rescue-stories/Pilots-N-Paws#ixzz2CiEgbVPy