Icon Icon
Pilots N Paws

Together We “Did” Save Them “Operation Special Delivery”

Share This Story!

On October 5, 2013, literally hundreds of volunteers both pilots and rescues came together in Hinesville, Georgia and surrounding areas and states to change the lives of over 400 animals.  With 38 planes on the ground at Midcoast Regional Airport (Wright Army Airport) we were able to fill the planes and send these adoptable dogs, cats. bunnies and 4 guinea pigs on their way to find a new family to love.  Many of them already have!

It was a perfect day, the kind of day that will linger in your memory forever.  Thank you to the pilots who spent the day working together– determined to connect with other pilots who were waiting for them in Pinehurst, N.C. and West Point, VA.  The pups headed to numerous rescue groups along the east coast. All in all 60 planes were involved.

Subaru, our loyal partner, made sure that everyone was well taken care of by providing a catered a dinner Friday evening for 200 volunteers and breakfast for us all the morning of the transport. Official Subaru Celebrity Volunteer Pam Grier, animal advocate, actress and NY Times best-selling author, was there to assist us with the animals and show them lots of love.

As you will see in the photos, Petmate who has been standing beside us for a long time now, provided all the crates for our pilots to use, just as they do all year long.   We are extremely fortunate to have two companies partner beside us because they care about the lives of animals in need.  THANK YOU BOTH! Additional thanks go to AOPA Foundation (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) and to Chase Community Giving for their support of our efforts. It takes a village and we are very thankful to our partners and sponsors.

Karen Talbot of M.O.M.S. Rescue and Co-founder of Animal Aid USA deserves a standing ovation. She tirelessly worked to bring sending and receiving rescue organizations together, coordinating with us to make certain the animals were all accounted for on their transport legs both by air and by ground caravan. The rescues and shelters in Georgia worked for weeks preparing all these adorable dogs, kitties and bunnies for transport.  It was a bittersweet day for them as they said goodbye to each animal but they did so knowing that they saved that life and made room to save yet another dog in need.  Thank you to the sending groups and to Prince Lorenzo Borghese for co-founding Animal Aid USA with Karen!

Guardians of Rescue, Robert Misseri, allowed us to share in the honor of emptying the Ft. Stewart Shelter on Friday the day prior to the flyway and caravan. Many of these perfectly adobtable animals will go on to be trained as service/companion dogs for our veterans.  How appropriate and grateful we are for their Paws of War program.

The ASPCA also sent 65 animals from southern shelters to safety via there relocation program as part of this joint effort. Thank you for joining us.

Sending Organizations:

M.O.M.S. Rescue/Miracle Ranch


Okefenokee Humane

Carpathia Paws

DODR (Dog on Death Row)

Help Homeless Dogs

Receiving Organizations:

Crate Escape

FOHA (Friends of Homeless Animals)

HART (Homeless Animal Rescue Team)

Suncoast Animal Rescue League

Tampa Bay Humane Society

Humane Society of Naples

A Second Chance for Puppies and Kittens

Tampa Bay SPCA

Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue

Humane Society of Atlantic County

Animal Adoption Center

Puppies and More

Additional thanks to Charlie Martin and his team at Midcoast Regional Airport, Bob and Debbie DeVries, Paul Krebs, and to the following airports for assisting our pilots along every leg of the routes for this mission:

Moore County Airport, Pinehurst, NC , host of the U.S. Open 2014

Middle Peninsula Airport, West Point, VA

Warrenton-Fauquier Airport, Warrenton, VA

Flying W Airport, Lumberton, NJ

Tampa Executive Airport, Tampa, FL

Naples Municipal Airport, Naples, FL

Palm Beach County Airport, Lantana, FL

This uplifting video was created by the producer and director of “Tales in Flight” Great job Michael Samstag and team.

Ultimately, our shared goal is to bring awareness and show people how they can get involved in their own communities and save lives.  Together, we can!