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Pilots N Paws

Six Dogs and a Trio of Pilots

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Big Momma (who’s not really that big), a three-legged pit bull, and Sissy, her heeler housemate, were owner-surrenders to the Harlingen, TX pound in far South Texas. They were both heart worm-positive; given that, Big Momma’s breed, and her missing front leg, they were facing almost certain euthanasia.


Rita Benavidez, a rescuer in Denver, CO, learned of the plight of Big Momma and Sissy and convinced the pound to hold them until she could arrange to transport the pair. A couple of ground transports fell through, so Rita turned to Pilots N Paws.


After a month (long, multi-leg missions, involving multiple pilots and aircraft, can be frustrating and time-consuming to pull off), a plan came together. Big Momma and Sissy would catch volunteer ground transport from Harlingen toHouston and would be boarded for a couple of nights before the flight.


There were four last-minute additions: four Lab pups headed from Houston to Mountain Pet Rescue  in Denver. Raven, a black Lab, was pulled from a pound by Vanita Mirchandani, a Houston rescuer. The other three pups were from the same litter, and were captured by Kevin Miller of Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward when they were discovered living underneath a raised house in the Houston Heights.


All six dogs arrived at Pearland Regional Airport near Houston around 8 a.m. on 5/14/13. After a brief weather delay, pilot Wade Roberts departed around 10 a.m., landing at Lancaster Regional Airport near Dallas. Dallas-area pilot Ed Valentine flew the manifest of six to Woodward, OK, where he connect with Lynn Lusk, a Denver pilot who flew the pack on the home stretch back to Denver. They landed before dark, and there was a happy and joyous rendezvous between the rescued dogs and their rescuers.


5 thoughts on “Six Dogs and a Trio of Pilots”

  1. Priscilla Wille says:

    Pilots N Paws does it again!!! Love you people!!!!

  2. Loretta says:

    Pilots and Paws is amazing! God Bless each of you. What a heartwarming story to share!

  3. Pamela VanBuren says:

    What a wonderful, heart-warming and encouraging story. God bless…

  4. Judy Allen says:

    My heart is singing and I’m using the tissues… SO happy for these dear pups and with so much gratitude to those who saved their lives… on the ground and in the air! Thank you for your loe and light…

  5. Melinda says:

    You are all amazing and are to be commended many times over. If I were a pilot I would certainly join all of you. Unfortunately, I can only pilot a car, but would love to transport by ground if possible. I live right outside of Orlando.

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