I wrote an article for the Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue (CCDR) newsletter which was printed and delivered to our membership, adopters, donors, and volunteers last week. Debi suggested I copy and paste it here - it was just something "small" that both CCDR and I thought we could do to highlight PNP after all that you've done for our dogs!
Pilots N Paws
By Krista Allan
Pilots N Paws, www.pilotsnpaws.org, is a group of volunteer pilots, both private and commercial, who offer their assistance to rescue groups to help move animals, small and large, from kill shelters to safe foster homes, from foster homes to their forever homes, from one airport to another, across the United States. Other aviation individuals, such as flight attendants, offer their access to longer flights to move animals longer distances. They essentially have taken what many do on the ground – to the skies!! Pilots donate their time, fuel, and planes in order to help save numerous animals that may have otherwise been put down. Also, often animals aren’t healthy enough to survive or do well in a multiple-leg ground transport – and this is where Pilots N Paws truly comes in handy! What would once be an 8 hour ground transport with 8 volunteers needed –turns into a 1-2 hour transport with 1-2 pilot volunteers needed. Many private pilots are looking to build time on their licenses and now have a mission and reason to fly the friendly skies. Pilots N Paws has successfully helped save over 200 animals as of January 2009!
My husband, Chris, is a pilot by profession and a dog lover by nature. When I first heard of Pilots N Paws, as a Transport Coordinator for CCDR, I thought – “what a fit!!!” I signed us up immediately onto their very well organized and maintained message board. Between my experience conducting ground transport and his experience flying planes – I thought what a wonderful way for both of us to get move involved in saving the lives of animals. Chris, on the other hand, initially thought I was insane. “We don’t have a plane”, he said. “Yes, but we have access to many!” I replied. And it’s true, we don’t own our own plane, so instead we have to rent them in order to assist in these air missions, which can get expensive (it’s about $75.00 an hour, with an average of 2-3 hours needed per transport) – but it is well worth it in the end. The more Chris read and heard about Pilots N Paws – the more he got excited. He has over 7,000 hours of flying time – so that isn’t something he’s interested in. But, seeing the looks on the dogs’ faces and knowing that with a nominal donation and a nice scenic flight, we could potentially save a life – that is what got him.
And we’ve been close to our first mission a few times – I know, it’s sad to be so excited for something, yet still not able to experience it yet! Chris was scheduled to fly Missy, a pregnant dachshund taken in by Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue (CCDR) from Plymouth, MA to her foster home outside of Pittsfield, MA – and then Mother Nature came in and snowed and iced through those plans. Missy ended up going on a ground transport with one driver, so in the end – she got to where she needed to be safely! Another opportunity presented itself to help get Mattie, a lab mix, from northern NJ to Nantucket, MA. We were all ready to go when – again, Mother Nature came in and snowed on our rescue parade!
But, we know our time will come. Pilots N Paws has their 501 (c)(3) non-profit status, which will make the expenses of our air missions a tax-deductible donation. In the meantime, we’re putting some money into our savings account in order to prepare for when we are called upon to hit the friendly skies in order to help more furry friends get to where they need to be!
For more information, see this excellent article in the USA Today:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/200 ... scue_N.htm
Krista Allan is a MA Representative and Board Member for CCDR. Chris Allan is her loving and supportive husband. They are both kind enough to pay the mortgage and utilities for the dachshunds they are owned by, Lucy & Cooper, both adopted through CCDR. Lucy came to the Allan’s on a 16-leg transport from OH to MA in March of 2005. Lucy has also personally been in the Captain’s seat in a Citationjet and has walked the tarmac at Logan International Airport. Cooper has yet to earn his wings – but is eager to do so!