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Canine Rescue Flights... where hope takes flight.

Canine Rescue Flights supports animal rescue organizations like the Humane Society, as well as many other pet rescues by providing volunteer general aviation transportation for pets in need with a focus on flights within Florida. This service extends to any bonafide agency helping animals with critical care, rescue from harm or adoption related relocation needs. Canine Rescue Flights often supports Pilots-N-Paws.

Our pilots are all volunteers who love animals and love to fly... a match made in heaven. The option to fly animals has a number of advantages including far less travel time for the pet which in turn generates less stress on the animal.

Other advantages include broadening the scope of area that potential adopters wish to search, and volunteer pilots can gain added flight experience while doing something rewarding for both themselves and the community. The ability to easily and quickly transport pets to a location closer to the adopter increases the likelihood of a pet finding the forever home he or she needs.

Canine Rescue Flights is a charitable non-profit organization fueled completely by the support of pilots and non-pilots alike. A vast array of people join in volunteering the necessary flight planning, ground transportation, logistical planning, and even needed incidental items like crates and blankets to make the travel even more comfortable. 

If you represent an agency in need of our organizations transportation help, or are a pilot or non-pilot and wish to volunteer, or are interested in providing a tax-deductable donation to Canine Rescue Flights, please click the contact us tab above for more information.


Recent Stories

Hurricane Isaac Relief Assistance

August 31, 2012

ATTENTION: All pilots with their own aircraft, Canine Rescue Flights is temporarily redirecting our efforts to help in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. There is a need for pilots to fly first responders and other public assistance from Major installations to the more rural airports so that they may assist victims and aid in a speedy recovery. 

Please contact us and we will place you in touch with the commander of the "Ready Fleet".

Christmas run is a success

December 29, 2011

Though some windy conditions at altitude did split the flight days up, so far three flights; two from Tampa to West Palm Beach and one from Bainbridge Georgia to Lakeland yielded a total of 29 dogs rescued. There are two more southern flights planned within two days expecting to bring our total 42.


One flight crammed 10 dogs in this small Piper Cherokee, but while these tightly packed puppies might have been uncomfortable for about 2.5 hours their chances of being adopted have been greatly increased. 



Local Business Supports Canine Rescues

Thank you A. American Insurance of Dunedin! Your generous financial donation will go directly to support our Christmas Run 2011.  

Giant Thanks

Canine Rescue Flights thanks Robert Rajtar and Jon McGuffey for their generous financial donation!

New System is a Success

September 2, 2011

Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback!  Pilots and Rescues using the new Twitter Flight system are reporting a complete success. About 12 flights have been completed since the new system went into effect just a little more than a month ago. Some of the responses I've received from pilots:

  • "My email thanks you! This is much better!"
  • "Awesomely efficient."
  • "Now I don't have to be near a computer, love it!"

Thanks for the feedback, all. 

One generous couple

Canine Rescue Flights would like to thank Mr. & Mrs. Swanson of Oldsmar. This generous couple just adopted an 8-month-old, white, male Boxer puppy. He's deaf, but full of energy yet paired to two of the most calm and friendly people you'd ever want to meet. In a conversation at a local pub, Mark and his wife spoke with us as we mentioned Canine Rescue Flights. Immediately they offered to help. 

Today they presented us with a donation of several brand new crates to help our pilots save even more dogs. Crates are such a vital thing to us and many of our volunteers do not often have their own to use.  
We are very grateful. Thank you both!

Husband and wife give Tia a lift

Liz and Nicholas Tsukaloudas didn't set out on a rescue flight, but during their personal flight down to Ft. Lauderdale Nick answered one of our requests. He and his wife Liz, both private pilots, volunteered to help us out.

Tia is a 2 year-old Rottweiler that had been in shelters for over a year and a half. Somehow Tia had managed to escape euthanasia from six months old but her time was just about up. As Tia grew and entered her adult years the "puppy factor" was no longer in her favor, her chances of being adopted were dwindling... like so many adult dogs. 

Liz and Nick were about to return home to Crystal River when a rescue in Tampa announced they could take Tia. Canine Rescue Flights posted the request then Liz and Nick answered the call.  "We were just about to head back home when Nick asked me if I minded taking on a passenger." said Liz.  "We weren't prepared, we had nothing to contain a dog during a flight. So Nick went to WalMart and bought a barrier net."

"After we set-up the net between the front and rear seats, Tia just sat on the rear seats and watched. It was as if she knew she was going for a ride." said Nicholas.  And go for a ride she did. Nick and Liz made their way from Ft. Lauderdale to Lakeland during some gusty, but sunny weather. "It was pretty much on our route back, it really only took about an extra 20 minutes to stop in Lakeland." said Liz, who at the age of 61 decided to get her pilot's license and fly with her husband. 

The private rescue that accepted Tia has a successful history of adopting out large breeds like Rottweilers. As for Liz and Nick, to use Liz's words: "It was a neat way to end a vacation."

With aviation fuel hovering just above the $6 per gallon range, and the economy deeper into recession than it has been in the last three years, volunteer pilots are becoming very scarce. "If there are any pilots going in the same direction as a rescue needs to go... this is our best opportunity get them moved.

"Our tact for getting rescues completed has had to change.",  said Eric Peterson of Canine Rescue Flights.   "Not very long ago, transport coordinators would post rescue requests and we would find pilots that could fly them."  "The new paradigm is somewhat the reverse, now we are having to find pilots willing to transport then post the direction they are flying to the coordinators and rescues. Now, we are encouraging transport coordinators to contact us and leave us your information. We contact you when we know we have a flight going in a certain direction.  It's not ideal, but you have to be flexible in your strategy. This month has been an indicator to me that I need to consider a wide number of options." 

Twelve more make a break for Freedom

January 29, 2011

Machinist and CNC machine specialist David Wright has never flown in a small aircraft and never participated in this sort of rescue, but he volunteered his entire day to help. A dog owner himself, he explained how his 200-lb English Mastiff protects his 8-year-old daughter. "My daughter would have loved to see this, she wants to be a veterinarian." he said, proudly. 

It's amazing how things come together. The transport coordinator was dealing with issues from a traffic mishap the night before, the rescue agency representative was away from the shelter having to operate an adoption booth at a local PetCo, and the rescue pilot had laryngitis... but somehow everyone managed to take advantage of the flight opportunity and get these puppies to their destination.

Air Traffic controllers at Lakeland Linder airport were in their usual supportive mode, greeting us kindly on approach.  Clear skies and calm winds on the ground disguised a squirrely layer of gusty winds during the descent. "I think that just woke up the puppies!" David said, as we recovered from a moderate gust.

"We love rescuing these little guys, but it is a sad reminder of how irresponsible some people can be. This is 100% preventable by simply spaying or neutering your dog." said Eric Peterson of Canine Rescue Flights.  "While puppy mills seem to get the headlines, it's actually amateur backyard-breeders that often cause the most damage. They believe they're going to make a fast buck, then quickly find themselves totally unprepared for the work or the cost. One bout of sickness in a litter and these amateur 'breeders' see their profit going down the tubes... so instead of being responsible, they dump the entire litter. It's sad what people are capable of."  

Small moves, Big impact.

January 26, 2011

It's been a busy January with about 15 different rescues completed. Moving dogs short distances like Sebring to Ocala, West Palm Beach to Naples, and Miami to Sarasota wouldn't seem like a very notable accomplishment, but it's often forgotten that the distance is immaterial; it's the goal and the result that matters. 

Fifteen lives have been saved from euthanasia and nearly all of them were actually moved because they had folks waiting to adopt them specifically. Now that's what matters! Grateful thanks to pilots Jack Thibedeau, Roberto Melendez, and Aaron Seldaine who volunteered to represent Canine Rescue Flights and help these dogs get a second chance.

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