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Great Article From Southwest Wildlife About Pilots N Paws’ Role In Transporting 3 Bobcats

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Angels and Bobcats
How do three baby bobcats in Arizona get to their new home 800 miles away in Nevada, in just a few hours?  Angels arrange it, of course.
When wild animals are found hurt, orphaned or have lost their homes to development, Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center knows just what to do.  We’re there to help our native wildlife by giving them a safe place to recover and grow; a place where their wildness is nurtured and encouraged.  Our doors are always open.
We take them all, but we don’t keep them all.  With a little luck, and a lot of skill, most animals in our care are returned, healthy and wild, back where they belong.  Most – but not all.
In addition to rehabilitating wildlife, Southwest Wildlife is an accredited sanctuary.  Those animals that couldn’t survive in the wild are found a home for life, even if it’s not with us.
This was the case with three bobcat kittens.  They were found this spring, alone, with no mother around.  Whether they were abandoned or taken from their den by someone with good intentions, the results were the same.  They were orphans.  When they arrived, they had already been handled and were unafraid of people.  It’s difficult to re-wild an animal that has lost its fear of humans, and without that skill it won’t survive in the wild for long.  Still, we wanted to give these youngsters a chance at a free life.  Once they were weaned from the bottle and eating on their own, they were moved outside to an area where they could be with releasable wild bobcats and learn wild cat behavior.  Months passed, however, and they continued to prefer people to other bobcats.  We knew that they could never be released.
These little ones needed sanctuary for life, and Southwest Wildlife was already bulging at the seams with non-releasable bobcats, many of them, former pets.  A request went out to the network of animal sanctuaries around the country.  Did anyone have room for three young bobcats?
Our kittens were wildly fortunate that Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, a small, non-profit, accredited wildlife sanctuary in Imlay, Nevada stepped up and offered to give them a lifelong home.  Incredibly good news!  It’s a big commitment, caring for an animal for its life, and bobcats can live more than 20 years.  Safe Haven was making plans to build a new enclosure for our lucky three and looking forward to having them join their sanctuary family.  Now all we had to do was get them there.
A little research showed that we were looking at a 26 hour round-trip drive, half of those hours with three growling boxes of unhappy, wild cats.  A commercial flight was considered, but the possibility of a long, cold layover made that an unappealing choice, and either way, it was going to be very expensive.
When we put the word out about our need,Pilots N Paws made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.  Pilots N Paws is a non-profit, volunteer organization which connects general aviation pilots with rescue volunteers to transport animals in need of a safe haven.  Their mission is simple: saving the lives of innocent animals. Pilots N Paws offered a flight for the bobcats on a private plane, at no cost.  That’s quite an upgrade!  Amazing people!
Angels, David Dunn and daughter, Katelyn and their wings
This is where the angels come in.  Pilot David Dunn’s family is a giving family, actively involved in several charitable organizations.  When his 14-year old daughter, Katelyn, saw an ad for Pilots N Paws in an aviation magazine, David agreed that she should sign them up to help.  Within hours they received a request to fly bobcats from Scottsdale to northern Nevada, and agreed to take on the project.  Flying out of Las Vegas shortly before Thanksgiving, on their first rescue flight for Pilots N Paws, they picked up the bobcats at the Scottsdale Municipal Airport and were off to Winnemucca, Nevada, about 30 minutes north of Safe Haven’s sanctuary.  Always looking for an excuse to go flying, the Dunns spent 8 hours in the plane that day, delivering bobkittens, and were pleased to find an interesting reason to fly together and help animals at the same time.  What a generous donation!  Angels!
Petey enjoying his new home at Safe Haven Rescue Zoo
As for the little bobcats, they arrived at Safe Haven just before Thanksgiving.  They already have names and a large enclosure to play in.  The male has been named Petey and the girls are Gidget and Mandy, names chosen by their Safe Haven sponsors.
It took many people working together to give these three youngsters a bright future, and for that we say “Thank You!”
Want to hear more about what’s going on around Southwest Wildlife?
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One thought on “Great Article From Southwest Wildlife About Pilots N Paws’ Role In Transporting 3 Bobcats”

  1. Janet says:

    Every time I read an article about Pilots N Paws I respect and love you guys all the more! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do to save innocent animals lives! God bless!

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