Pilots N Paws & Crisis Dogs NC’s Hurricane Irma Flights
Mr. Lucy was running down the street naked. Bug-eyed, puckered raw skin with only tufts of hair, he poorly navigated the slosh of windy currents in Titusville, the flood ravaged county seat of Brevard County. Charlie, matted with feces, dodged gusty waves. Shiloh fared better. Sodden wet, she had only facial bruises when the Brevard County Sheriff dispatchers picked her up.
Irma blew off roofs and windows, in many cases exposing just how family dogs were treated in their homes. Brevard County Shelter was on overload with the influx of dogs abandoned during the storm and others still lingering, un-adopted in the kennels. Local rescue groups were also on intake crisis. The North Carolina non-profit CrisisDogsNC called the county’s sheriff’s office, offering help. A week and dozens of phone calls later, CrisisDogsNC founder Judith Texier and Virginia Rymer, Animal Welfare Coordinator for Brevard County Sheriff Animal Services and Enforcement, had triaged five of the most needy dogs. Within a day of a PNP Board posting, Melbourne-based pilot Reggie Mathews answered the call for transport.
In late September and early October, Mathew transported this motley crew in his Beechcraft Bonanza, piloting nonstop the three-hour flight from east coast Florida to central North Carolina. On Flight #1: Mr. Lucy, Shiloh and a long-legged puppy named Annabelle, given up because she “got too big.” Charlie took the second flight, along with Honey, a plain brown dog who had just graduated a prison inmate training program in hopes of boosting her adoptability. On the receiving end in Raleigh were Texier and Peter Marlin, a land transporter for CrisisDogsNC.
Marlin drove Mr. Lucy and Annabelle to foster homes and Charlie was adopted by a family who greeted him on the tarmac. CrisisDogsNC transferred Shiloh and Honey to the foster program at Carolina Canine Rescue in Mount Airy on two flights piloted a week apart by Ken Menzie.
Thanks to PNP’s enormously generous pilots and the Brevard Sheriff Office for extraordinary efforts on the ground!
CrisisDogsNC match-makes dogs at risk with adopters and frequently posts on PNP. www.CrisisDogsNC.org