Tampa Bay Times-Volunteer Pilots Airlift Rescued Puppies into Tampa Executive Airport

Tampa Bay Times-Volunteer Pilots Airlift Rescued Puppies into Tampa Executive Airport

Hundreds of volunteers, both pilots and rescues, came together in Hinesville, Georgia and surrounding areas to make a difference for over 400 animals through Operation Special Delivery. Carolina Hidalgo covered the story for the Tampa Bay Times in “Volunteer Pilots Airlift Rescued Puppies into Tampa Executive Airport” posted on October 5, 2013.

Diane Dahlbeck, center, and Beth Malone, left, help Terry Premru get leashes onto a litter of Lab mixes Saturday at Tampa Executive Airport as part of the Pilots N Paws rescue program. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

Diane Dahlbeck, center, and Beth Malone, left, help Terry Premru get leashes onto a litter of Lab mixes Saturday at Tampa Executive Airport as part of the Pilots N Paws rescue program. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

TAMPA — Diane Dahlbeck walked around Tampa Executive Airport on Saturday morning, cradling a blue-eyed, golden Lab mix beneath her chin.

“It’s either kill them or move them,” Diane Dahlbeck said about the precious cargo. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

Dahlbeck and her husband, George, spent the morning flying their plane into Tampa from Hinesville, Ga., where they’d loaded up a litter of precious cargo as part of a rescue program organized by the nonprofit group Pilots N Paws.

Hannah Anton, 13, of Tampa, a volunteer with We Are Not Disposable, plays with a rescued puppy. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

Hannah Anton, 13, of Tampa, a volunteer with We Are Not Disposable, plays with a rescued puppy. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

They were two of roughly 50 private pilots who volunteered to take more than 400 rescued animals to cities across the country, where they could be placed into no-kill rescue shelters or new homes.

Eric King, with the Suncoast Animal League, holds one of the roughly 400 animals rescued from Hinesville, Ga. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

Eric King, with the Suncoast Animal League, holds one of the roughly 400 animals rescued from Hinesville, Ga. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

“It’s either kill them or move them,” Dahlbeck said, cradling one of the dogs. “Look at this face, I mean, do you really want anything to happen to this little guy?”

A rescued puppy is loaded into a van Saturday as part of the Pilots N Paws program. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

A rescued puppy is loaded into a van Saturday as part of the Pilots N Paws program. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

She wandered with the puppy, making rounds and greeting other pilots. She kissed the Lab mix’s ears and nuzzled him as she showed him off. She avoided placing him into his cage until Eric King, with the Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor, coaxed him out of her hands.

Diane Dahlbeck of Sarasota cradles a Lab mix she and her husband, George, flew into Tampa Executive Airport on Saturday to be taken to Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times

“Look at him,” King told her. “He’ll have a good home in no time.”

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2 Responses to “Tampa Bay Times-Volunteer Pilots Airlift Rescued Puppies into Tampa Executive Airport”

  1. Dr. Ann Merlino 17. Oct, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    What a wonderful surprise – to see my niece Diane Briganti Dahlbeck snuggling up to an adorable pup. If there is someone or some animal needing help-Dr. Diane is right there. I am so pleased to learn about Pilots N Paws and will follow through to help.

  2. I love all that you do Pilots and Paws!!!!