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Pilots N Paws

Rescue Flight #34: What’s Not To Love?

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Co-Pilot John Barrett with Pete resting on his shoulder

Co-Pilot John Barrett with Pete resting on his shoulder

I flew my 34th rescue flight this past Sunday. On board, two dogs, both pulled from a NC shelter just hours before being gassed (still a legal form of euthanasia in some NC counties). After a few weeks of rehab by Rhonda Beach and her rescue group (Chances Angel Rescue & Education), they were on their way to Blue Bell, PA to be adopted.

Most dogs fall asleep on these flights. But Pete (60# and really strong) sat on top of one of the crates behind co-pilot John Barrett so he could look out the window and “hang” with the crew. Sawyer, a 45# shepherd mix, was in the back. We transferred both dogs to the next pilot in Tappahannock, VA for the second leg north.

As volunteer pilots we are a small link in the chain of dedicated rescue groups that work tirelessly to save these dogs. Most leave by car or van. But when budget allows I along with other pilots pitch in and do what

Lenny Caiazzo (Pilot) and his nephew Anthony Caiazzo during the transfer in Tappahannock, VA

Lenny Caiazzo (Pilot) and his nephew Anthony Caiazzo during the transfer in Tappahannock, VA

we can. As you can tell from the picture, the bond that develops in the short time we are with these dogs is quite remarkable. In the last three years I’ve flown 119 dogs to safety and I’m convinced each one understood we were there to give them another chance at life.

Rick Gutlon

Co-Pilot John Barrett with Pete and Rick Gutlon (Pilot)

Co-Pilot John Barrett with Pete and Rick Gutlon (Pilot)








Subaru and Petmate are proud sponsors of Pilots N Paws.


Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston Executive Director, Pilots N Paws

25 thoughts on “Rescue Flight #34: What’s Not To Love?”

  1. Brenda Nash says:

    Thank You for all that you do!! My dream is that one day we will have responsible dog owners and there won’t be a need for rescuing these dogs. I foster so therefore my heart is in this all the way!!

  2. LHunter says:

    Wow, you guys are so awesome! Not only do you save their lives, but you get to have the VERY BEST passenger’s!
    Thank you for all you do, you truly are these animals “Angels of the Sky”!

  3. Linda Keith says:

    We are so proud of all the pilots that participate in the saving of lives…thank you so much for what you do so selflessly!

  4. Jim Taylor says:

    A rescued doggie head on one’s shoulder. Pretty well making it feel the fuel bill was well worth it. Thank you gentlemen.

  5. Rita S says:

    Thank you!

  6. janice williams says:

    Angels for animals is what ya’ll are and you will be blessed in many ways for your love. I share your post on my personal page and also on my Lost and Found Pets page. Hugs to you all!!

  7. laura says:

    Blessings to you and all that you do for these little ones. YOu are a hero and savior in their eyes. because of you they have life.
    thank you

  8. Si says:

    God Bless you all for what you do for these angels!

  9. Kathy says:

    Thank you for all you do for these innocent animals and giving them a second chance at life. I agree that somehow the animals know you are saving them and would express their gratitude if they could!

    P.S. I can’t believe gassing is still an accepted form of “euthanasia”. It’s barbaric and horrific.

  10. Sara says:

    You are the best…Thank you for saving all of these amazing animals!!! We have five rescue pets, and we love them all very much. It it wasn’t for people like you, they may never have had a second chance!

  11. Rebecca says:

    I love the ‘over the shoulder’ photo bomb. What a precious puppy. Thanks guys, for all you do

  12. George says:

    Thank You Rick, John, Lenny, and Anthony. That picture of Pete is PRICELESS!

  13. Eileen stephenson says:

    A mere thank you isn’t enough for all that you do. God has linked you to save those animals; and in the end God will save you for saving them. May you go boldly into many more successful missions. Will keep you in prayers always.

  14. Nancy says:

    God bless you all for what you do for the furbabies – they know you are rescuing them and “Pete”s reaction is just proof of that. We speak for them when we say THANK YOU!!!

  15. Benjamin K. Landron says:

    I am a private pilot and I would love to be able to fly these pups to their new lives but my airplane is just not made for that type of mission. Too light and slow. I envy and salute everyone involved that takes the time to save the life of an innocent animal. You will be rewarded for having such good hearts. Thank you all!

  16. Jennifer Collins-Mancour says:

    Thanks for doing what you do.

  17. Tammy says:

    Thank you to all of the pilots. What you do is amazing. We had our boy Robbie formerly Rupert flown to us from Virginia to NH in April. He was a diabetic in a kill shelter where he was going to be euthanized just for being diabetic. The rescue contacted your organization and within a week our new boy was home. We are forever grateful to all the pilots!

  18. Arlene says:

    What kind people. You are a blessing. Thank you !

  19. Peg Brier-Lyons says:

    Mike Young of Pilots N Paws flew a transport of 9 dogs, including my sweet Shelley, from NC to Bluebell airport in PA. A life-changing adoption that could NEVER have occurred w/o this wonderful organization.
    We are forever grateful. This is wonderful work they are doing. Please support them, and SHARE to spread the word

  20. Melissa says:

    That is a priceless picture! Thank you to all the pilots with Pilots N Paws!

  21. E J Simons says:

    Thank you for your love and devotion. We really could use your help here on St Thomas USVI! The Humane Society here is a kill shelter and we are overwhelmed!

  22. Jayne says:

    Thank you guys for the wonderful thing you do. The animals thank you too……

  23. Name (required) says:

    I am so grateful for people like you who truly care and SHOW it! Dogs are angels from heaven and you are a true blessing to them. God Bless You for all you do!!!!

  24. Sharon Oller says:

    I was sitting here feeling very sad. Our local shelter is full it is over full. All of our fosters have taken as many as possible. Hearts of volunteers and staff members are breaking as we have record intake days, 80, 84 and today 105. You see our shelter has a record of 70% out or saved and rehomed – they are the hardest working people you have ever seen and we are being slammed. God Bless you for all you do – you have renewed my faith in people committed to save these poor pups! We have so many here and there are so many in other places that would love to have them. Because of you – they will be saved! Please keep flying!

  25. Bob Choquette says:

    Rick, Lenny, John et all pilots
    You are truly are the embodiment of caring people who are doing this for the true love of animals. You guys are definitely on a different plane than the rest of us( pun intended). Many thanks and you all are an inspiration.

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