This unique program brings together planes, pilots and shelters to rescue and transport dogs, cats and other animals from overcrowded shelters, relocating them to organizations committed to finding them homes.
The weekend of Sept 28, pilots and other volunteers will participate in the Pilots N Paws “Dog Is My Copilot” Rescue Flyway, aimed at relocating hundreds of animals from North Carolina, to shelters and fosters in other parts of the country including D.C., Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and New Jersey.
“This year’s annual flyway derives its name from our newly released Pilots N Paws book. The book, “Dog Is My Copilot,” features two dozen animal rescue flights. In Monroe, NC we will be adding hundreds of new stories to the Pilots N Paws collection as our pilots fly over 300 animals to safety all in the course of one day,” says Kathleen Quinn, executive director of Pilots N Paws.
According to the Humane Society, 4 million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are euthanized in shelters each year. The aim of Pilots N Paws is to decrease this number by connecting shelters and rescue groups with pilots willing to transport animals to safe homes.
With the help of the Pilots N Paws website, rescuers and foster homes in high-kill areas are able to locate their counterparts in areas of the country where high-kill rates are not the rule. These no-kill shelters then make space for the animals being rescued. The sending and receiving pair team up with a volunteer pilot, who provides transportation.
To make this life-saving, heart-warming event a success, many more volunteers are needed.
- Pilots – Register online to fly pets from shelters to their foster or forever homes.
- Short- and long-term foster homes – Take care of pets, ranging from overnight stays en route to extended periods, while adopters are found.
- General volunteers – Local shelters always need help walking dogs, cleaning cages and filing paperwork.
In addition to volunteer roles, there are other ways to help:
- Spread the word – Tell your local animal shelter about Pilots N Paws. If there’s a small airport nearby, ask the manager to let its pilots know about the event.
- Donate – Pilots N Paws, rescue groups and shelter donations are usually tax-deductible.
- Adopt – Consider taking one of the rescued pets into your own home.
“Volunteers are the key to our success,” says Quinn. “Without the dedication of our pilots and rescue groups, our program wouldn’t exist. The more volunteers we have, the more animals we can rescue.”
For more information, click here.