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Pilots N Paws

Canines fly away to new life, thanks to Pilots N Paws

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Sarah Shelton and Gary Wieboldt with some of the pups they rescued.

Sarah Shelton and Gary Wieboldt with some of the pups they rescued.


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Nine pups and their mom didn’t realize how lucky they were Saturday morning when they flew out of William M. Tuck Airport headed north.

The orphaned animals are getting their chance to go to a loving home thanks to help from Sarah Shelton of South Boston and Gary Wieboldt of Maryland.

Wieboldt, a member of an organization called Pilots N Paws, flew to Halifax County to “rescue” “Cookie,” a black Labrador Retriever, and her three-week old puppies by taking them to Burlington County Animal Alliance in New Jersey where they will be fostered and eventually placed into loving and caring homes.

Pilots N Paws were quick to respond to last week’s passionate plea from the local humane society to rescue the mom and her nine pups.

Shelton, a 10-year member of the Halifax County Humane Society, said she called Pilots N Paws after Cookie and her pups recently turned up at the local animal shelter.

According to Wieboldt, Pilots N Paws is an organization consisting of caring individuals who dedicate their time, money and airplanes to rescuing animals in need.

An engineer in Annapolis, Maryland, Wieboldt took time out of his busy schedule Saturday and used his personal airplane to make the trip to rescue Cookie and her pups.

The round-trip rescue cost the Maryland animal lover around $600.

He said the experience was very exciting to him because he had never seen three-week-old puppies before.

“I would like to do it a lot more often. It’s great because you get to save the doggies,” Wieboldt said referring to his desire to transport more animals.

He has been a member of the organization since 2009 and has transported at least 18 dogs over the past five years making at least eight flights. He said the farthest he has traveled for an animal rescue has been 500 miles.

According to the seasoned pilot, the high concentration of animals in kill shelters in the south and high demand for animals as pets in the north results in his organization making rescue transports like this one every weekend.

“This combines two fun things, flying and helping these little guys,” Wieboldt said when asked what he likes most about rescuing animals.

Shelton said she was very excited to be sending the dogs where they would be able to find loving homes.

As a member of the Humane Society, Shelton said they make rescue transports all the time, but most of the time they’re done by car.

This was the first time she has helped saved a mother dog and her pups by air rescue.

Shelton’s favorite part of rescuing animals is when she gets happy updates, and people tell her how excited and thrilled they are with their new pets.

2 thoughts on “Canines fly away to new life, thanks to Pilots N Paws”

  1. cc says:

    I thank you for being who you are. You provide so much for animals,
    that may be in kill shelters if not for you.

  2. Stephanie Sharpe says:

    thank you with all my heart == you are angels==except your wings are metal

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