There’s an article in our paper, the AJC, about Pilot N Paws working together with local rescue groups to get dogs at high kill shelters transported to no kill shelters up North. In the South the amount of homeless animals is at an all time high, the euthanasia rate is higher in Georgia than most states. Metro Atlanta shelters euthanize thousands of animals every month.
Rescuing animals and transporting them to a safe place is nothing new, there’s been an underground dog railroad for years, but it is a tedious process because the dogs are driven. The Pilot N Paws program takes advantage of pilots with small planes who volunteer their time and aircraft to fly the dogs. Many more dogs can be flown over a weekend than driven. The goal of their recent trip was to transport 5,000 dogs, they figure they met at least half their goal. Even half, 2,500, is a pretty amazing amount of dogs to have been saved in one weekend.
The pilots go to the Pilot N Paws message board to see what rescue groups are in need of transport aid, where they’re located, and what the final destination is. If all goes well there will be a match and transport is arranged.
During the trip last week some pups got new homes thanks to a few local rescuers, one of them a Dogster member who volunteers for Dogs Deserve Better, and a pilot who donated his time.
Among those avoiding death row by boarding planes were Molly, the elderly collie sprung from the Clayton County shelter, and JoJo, a black Lab mix whose breed and color did nothing to set her apart from the hundreds of other strays in Albany.
Nobody looks twice at her here, said Stephanie Tomoser, who rescued JoJo from outside her office. This may be her last chance. There are people who want her and other dogs. You just have to find them.
Molly found respite with an Ohio rescue group devoted to collies. JoJo traded rural Georgia for a home in rural Wisconsin.
The South is a little bit behind in how we handle the animal population, but we are getting there, said Don Bruce, operations manager of Cobbs animal control service. We are taking baby steps.
But puppies like the ones in new homes up north cant wait. Christine Havens found the sisters living under a house. She refused to take them to a shelter, knowing the odds were not in their favor.
Pilot Wayne Cease of Atlanta flew them on the first leg of the journey on a Piper Seneca from Fultons Brown Field because, he, too wanted to make sure they were safe. He donated his time and the money it cost to rent and fuel the twin-engine plane.
“Once these animals get a destination, I have a purpose to fly, Cease said. By air, a whole new life for them is just a few hours away.
Lisa and I happen to know Christine, Austin’s mom, personally and are very proud of what she did to help the puppies, plus one older dog not mentioned. The article doesn’t go into how she got the dogs, it’s a rather long story, but they were in a rural area not being taken care of. The older dog was chained to a tree night and day, with a too tight collar, and no shelter. The puppies were living under the porch, they were the outcome of an unspayed dog. Another unwanted litter.
The people who had the dogs did not know how to properly care for them and financially they couldn’t afford to. Christine was able to talk the owners into giving up the dogs, the older one was adopted by one of the rescue workers and the other two are now up North. There is a shortage of puppies in the Northeast and Upper Midwest because of the stricter licensing and spay/neuter laws. The puppies are sure to be adopted into loving homes in no time.
Thank you to Christine, and all the other rescue workers, who give selflessly of their time with nothing wanted in return except to see a dog get a chance at life.