Monday, March 21, 2011

Pilots N Paws Rescue Flight

First let me say that my sister married someone I can honestly describe as a really "good guy."  Someone she can share her interest in charities with and more.  His name is Mike.  He's an accomplished engineer and pilot with several cool hobbies including motorcycling and auto
restoration.  Needless to say, sharing similar interests, we get along well.  This is a good thing if you're going to be in a small plane together with 17 dogs for 12 hours.

Last week, I had an opportunity to tag along on a rescue mission with Mike.  We flew down to Lawrenceville, a WWII airfield in southern Illinois to pick up 17 dogs that had been flown there by an equally altruistic Woman by the name of Rhonda Miles. Click here to learn more about Rhonda: 

Rhonda flew from Chattanooga, TN to Savannah, GA to retrieve these dogs.  Then, when weather prevented the trip north, she found housing for them until the trip could be completed.  The Savannah shelter had told her that if these dogs were not picked up, they would be euthanized.  But not to worry, she was told, they would have a "new batch" within a week.

Break for a Public Announcement:  Please spay or neuter your pets.  Puppies are cute but there are too many and not enough homes as these photos will attest.

Our destination was Happily Ever After based in Green Bay, WI.             

This no kill shelter has a great story in itself. Amanda founded this organization after attending college and visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab,  Utah.
She started working out of her grandparent's barn and continues to build a terrific legacy.

These 17 dogs bring Mikes shuttling total to 52 animals.  As a point of reference, Mike has only been doing this for a year.  And, Mike has shuttled almost exclusively between the Savannah shelter and Happily Ever After.  Doesn't that make you stop and think how many other shelters there are and the staggering number of animals that don't get a second chance?

If you know a pilot or even someone with a car that can transport a single animal or 17 in crates as we did please let them know the need exists.  And believe me, a small private plane has less room than most sedans would afford.  Even if it's for just a few miles as part of a relay or during a trip that you'd be taking anyway, PLEASE contact Pilots N Paws or your local shelter or any rescue group that interests you.  It doesn't take a lot of time, a fancy building or a pile of money to make a big difference to these animals.

Working with the Wisconsin Saint Bernard rescue we have driven to Chicago to pick up a dog from another transporter as part of a relay.  We fostered when we could and have adopted three fantastic Saint Bernards over 11 years.  However, we haven't come close to repaying the kindness shown by Jan, the tireless advocate of this organization . 

What I'm trying to say is that the effort you put in is small compared to what you receive in return.  Please take some time to visit these links and do what you can through volunteering, contributions of needed supplies or monetary donations.  

And, if you are able to share your life and your home with a companion, please consider adopting an animal from a shelter or rescue rather than from a breeder or breeding your own pet.  Almost every breed imaginable has a rescue group that picks up the pieces of those left behind.  And non-specific breeds (mutts) can be just as rewarding and often have better lifetime health than heavily concentrated breeds. 

Puppies and kittens to adults.  All have a story.  You can be their happy ending.

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