Some people love dogs, some people prefer cats. I happen to own three dogs and one cat, so draw your own conclusions. Two were rescued; two were adopted from animal shelters.
I’m thankful for the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of animal rescue groups around the nation. They do the work–pulling dogs and cats from shelters and keeping them in foster homes–that most of us will not. They advocate for creatures that cannot speak for themselves.
Animal Rescue Flights and Pilots ‘n’ Paws are among the volunteer pilot organizations that help to transport rescued dogs and cats to new homes. (And I can’t leave out Ted DuPuis and Cloud Nine Rescue Flights. Ted and his Piper Aztec routinely make 700-nm trips to rescue animals.) (If you know of any other pilot groups doing animal rescues, please tell us all about them in the Comments section.)
David Jack Kenny, my colleague in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, has spent many weekend hours flying as many dogs as he can fit in his Piper Arrow to new homes. On Sunday he flew the second part of a two-leg flight that originated in North Carolina in which he transported two English setters from Westminster, Maryland, to Columbus, Ohio. Michele McGuire, the pilot of the first leg, had to fly an approach to minimums to land at Person County in North Carolina.
The year-old dogs are litter-mates. Their owner decided that they weren’t good prospects to be trained as hunting dogs. And, in leaving them at the shelter, he effectively signed their death sentences. Perhaps this man wasn’t aware (or didn’t want to believe) that purebred dogs get put to sleep just the same as mixed-breeds do. Perhaps he thought surrendered dogs aren’t put down. Unfortunately, because of the overcrowding and lack of funds at shelters in many states, that’s exactly what happens–unless the rescue groups can reach them in time.
The Animal Protection Society of Person County pulled these setters and worked with Susan England at Ohio English Setter Rescue (shown here with the happy new arrivals) to place them. “They were beautiful young dogs,” David said. “It was worth going to some trouble to get them to safety.” If you have a fondness for English setters, Susan’s rescue has more waiting for forever homes. And if you can’t get to Ohio, there’s this volunteer organization that might be able to help…