Pilots N Paws is an online volunteer organization where general aviation pilots can connect with rescue volunteers to transport animals in need to safe havens. Sanford was part of a cruelty case at ACS. His owner passed away and he was left outside. Little if any food or water. Alone. Hungry. Attempts to contact and have any family members step up for his care were unsuccessful. The average temperature in San Antonio for August, 2013, was 88.5 (that’s almost 90 degrees). A neighbor reported the poor dog’s conditions. His behavior was indicative of a dog who had spent much time tethered. He stared, showed little interest or eye contact, and wouldn’t wag his tail- there in body but not in spirit. Sanford sat in his snipsa foster’s backyard very quiet- as if he wanted to be invisible. He had excellent care after being rescued and began wagging his tail and responding with trust. When I met Sanford, he was in the back seat of Jeff’s truck content on his pillow, with his blanket and a toy. His eyes said so much about him. He didn’t want to be far from Jeff because Jeff and wife, Cynthia, had gained his trust in the short time they had him.
Sanford meeting pilot Robert McCarter before their flight.
That face. So unsure of what’s going on. I thank God there are good people who sacrifice their time and money to better the lives of God’s creatures. I know Jeff well enough to share that he treats humans with the same generosity. I am one of those humans he ‘rescued’ during a very difficult time in my life.
Jeff and Robert flew Sanford to St. Louis to meet another pilot volunteer with PNP who delivered him to his new owner in Illinois.
Off to St. Louis, MO
From the facebook page of Pilots N Paws: “The first official flight took place on February 8, 2008. Since then, the number of small-plane general aviation pilot volunteers has climbed to over 1,800, with 8200 registered users participating on the website. Our goal is to have 10,000 pilots so that few transport requests go unanswered.
Our biggest obstacle has been reaching out and letting general aviation pilots know we are here. Once they know we exist, most are more than willing to join and help with our efforts. Our 501(c)(3) charitable tax status is encouraging to pilots, as they are not permitted to accept any monetary compensation for their flights. However, the FAA has given us the status of Humanitarian Flights, so pilots can use portions of their flight expenses as a tax deductible donation.
For those interested in joining our cause, take the first step and head to our website, pilotsnpaws.org and start reading. From there you can determine if you can offer your services as a pilot or in general areas that most people can help with, including being a volunteer driver or a temporary overnight foster home in case of an unexpected landing.
Reaching more pilots in turn helps more animals. We would also encourage people to contact their local shelters and rescue groups to see how they can assist them. Good volunteers and foster homes are always needed. Just jump in, that’s exactly what we did when we started Pilots N Paws!
We continue to work with our fantastic sponsors, Subaru and Petmate, to bring about public awareness of the needs of abandoned animals. Educating the public that overcrowding of animals is something we as humans can change by altering our pets and being responsible pet owners is our mantra. Thank you for caring about what we do!”