Skip to Content


Syndicate content
Saving the Lives of Innocent Animals
Updated: 34 min 17 sec ago

PNP Pilot Tripp Costas Flies Reegan from Denver to Nashville!

14 hours 16 min ago

Melissa, a volunteer for German Shepherd Rescue and Adoption received an urgent call that Reegan, a dog she had known for years was dumped in a high-kill shelter in Denver Colorado. Reegan had very little chance to make it out alive unless we could quickly figure a way to safely get her to North Carolina. Melissa was the only person Reegan had now and she had do everything in her power to save her.  The thought of transporting her from Colorado to North Carolina seemed like an insurmountable task but then we thought of Pilots N Paws…it was worth a shot. Melissa put in a plea to PNP and within hours she got a reply from Tripp Costas, a wonderful man who said he’d be happy to take Reegan from Denver to Nashville! After some pictures and hugs, Reegan was eager to get on the plane and head east with Tripp! She sat right next to him just like a co-pilot and knew she was safe. On behalf of GSRA we want to thank PNP and specifically Tripp Costas for helping to save her life. We are deeply grateful. -Nike Dwyer German Shepherd Rescue and Adoption, Fuquay Varina, NC.

Subaru and Petmate are proud sponsors of Pilots N Paws.


Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston Executive Director, Pilots N Paws

‘Angel in sky’ uses own plane to save dogs on death row

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 05:28


PNP Pilots Jeff Bennett

link to original story

Posted: Apr 04, 2014 7:12 AM EDT Updated: Apr 04, 2014 7:12 AM EDT

By: Jennifer Epstein, FOX 13 Traffic - bio

TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Jeff Bennett, a volunteer with Pilots and Paws, combines his love of flying with his love for dogs – rescuing animals all across the country.

It’s a plane full of puppies all being saved from death row.

“I enjoy it,” Bennett told FOX 13. “You get to have cute little faces in the plane. I get to play with them while I’m flying.”

Those cute little faces come from over-populated shelters that are forced to euthanize animals. Jeff flies all across the U.S., picking up the pups and taking them to shelters throughout South Florida.

Sherry Silk of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay believes said this about him:  ”They’re angels in the sky saving little guys.”

Jeff has rescued close to 2,300 dogs since 2008, and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. He volunteers his time and his plane, paying for his own gas and repairs from the wear and tear of travel. And he does it without asking for anything in return.

“He’s the real deal. He’s not doing it for notoriety. He’s doing it because when he sees these puppies and sees them here, and we do follow ups with him and tell him that they get adopted, that’s all the recognition that he needs” Silk said.

Jeff and his wife’s love of dogs extend to his home, too. They have four of their own rescued dogs. But for the Bennett family, it’s more like a love of all animals.

“I’ve done potbelly pigs, kinkajou, snakes, lizards, hamsters, guinea pigs,” he said.

The animals go to shelters like the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, where they stay until they find a forever home.

“These guys you want to take home,” Jeff said. “It’s hard not to take them home. There’s one on almost every trip that I’d like to take.”


Subaru and Petmate are proud sponsors of Pilots N Paws.


Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston Executive Director, Pilots N Paws

Round Trip

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 07:15

Fox 31 out of Denver tagged along on a flight with Dave Whitney. He flew Meadow, a senior Cane Corso from Denver to her new forever home in OK. Her owners here were forced to downsize, and they were not able to keep Meadow anymore, after 10 years. It was sad, but she was such a great dog that surely her new home will be wonderful. Dave says he would have kept her in a heartbeat.

The flight back carried Angel, a bird dog mix who was found in a field about to give birth and her 7 puppies. Someone found her, took her in temporarily, then delivered her and the puppies to Kane’s Rescue in OK. Kane’s delivered the family to the airport in Clinton, and Dave flew them to Denver, where Debbie Faulkner, owner of Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary drove all the way down to pick them up (and give an interview).

Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!

Little Ditty About Jack and Diane

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 06:05

Labs Jack and Diane on their way yesterday from Cookeville, TN  to Jacksonville,FL for the Lab Retriever Rescue of Florida. Lab Jet had his own first class bed in the back area. Jack and Diane are brother and sister.


Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!

Cloud 9

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 05:54

Paul and Elisabeth with pup. Photo Credit Wendy McCarthur.

We had the honor of being part of an air and ground transport on March 22nd.  9 little basset hound puppies were relinquished by their owner and swept up by TriState Basset Rescue in PA. The hard part was done….the pups could be promised a chance at life.  Now, to line up transporters to deliver them 1200 miles!

We started out with intense fog and low clouds and had to push our freedom flight back a couple of hours.  We arrived at Mobile Regional Airport at 11:30 to 9 of the cutest, happiest and lively bunch of long ears and fat feet you’ve ever seen!  5 to one crate, 2 to another, 2 in the backseat with our PnP photographer, Amanda Melton and 1 in the front seat with me and we were off!  We flew an hour and a half to Birmingham, where we were met with the first of 6 ground transporters.  They were relayed, car-by-car, with lots of pit-stops and arrived at the rescue Sunday morning.  I’m told by the transport Coordinator, Cathy Larsen, that there was a huge influx of applications for them as soon as their story hit the website!  9 lives that would have ended too soon get a new start in a new city!

Basset pup in arms. Photo Credit Wendy McCarthur.

The pups came to the attention of TriState Basset Rescue when the dogs’ owner told a coworker that she was going to take them all to the shelter. They were 12 weeks old and living in less than desirable conditions. The shelter in Mobile is overcrowded and often euthanize for space. There just aren’t enough adopters for the legions of dogs and cats brought in, and chances were good that if the pups were taken there, they would never leave. The wheels were in motion and that animal advocate called around until she could find a place to take them.  Cathy Larsen with  TriState wanted them all, including the mother dog , but the owner wouldn’t part with her. She did finally convince her to let them pay for heartworm testing and spaying for the little mom.

So many people worked together to make this transport happen.  Leigh Stonecypher started building a transport team from Mobile, while Cathy worked on one from her end.  Even with the delays, this dedicated group of animal advocates switched hours, bent schedules, and patiently waited to get these 9 puppies to safety.  A very special thank you to Dr. Martin and his staff with Parkway Animal Hospital in Mobile for vetting and boarding the pups

A photo of the 9 pups and Mom. Photo Credit Wendy McCarthur.

until we could get them on their way.  Ground Transporters, Deanna Barrett and Tommy Patterson, Dana Tindell, Julie Wynn, Reenie Stafford, Jennifer Teaster, and Shana Miller  as well as photographers Amanda Melton and Wendy McCarthur.

From unwanted to loved…. the story of 9 baby bassets with their heads in the clouds!

Paul and Elisabeth Gardner


Amanda Melton, freelance photographer, with her charge. Photo Credit Wendy McCarthur.


Photo Credit Wendy McCarthur.

Sleep or a View?

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 06:10

A female Treeing Walker Coonhound, Laura Sue, needed a ride to rescue. Mother nature didn’t cooperate, and the transport had to be postponed from Sunday to Monday. Fortunately, pilot Gary Shepherd was still able to make the trip.

At some point Laura Sue had been hit by a car and is still recovering from her injuries. She was a sweet dog and was the first one Gary has flown that actually seemed more interested in looking out the window than sleeping.

Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!

It Takes a Village…Jamie finds a new home in Omaha!

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 05:56

Jamie, a sweet Lab/Weimeriner mix was found as a stray in Texas. He was unfortunately placed in a Kill Shelter and his time was up.  Many tireless volunteers spearheaded efforts to rescue him from the shelter in Texas and get him to an Omaha Weimeriner Rescue group.

 After being brought from Springfield to Kansas City, Greg and Laura Gibson had the honor of flying the last leg of Jamie’s rescue mission.

 Jamie is such a sweet boy and enjoyed looking out the window during the flight. Don’t tell him he’s not a lap dog because snuggling in your lap is where he likes to be!

Upon arriving in Omaha, Gail and Heather of Omaha Weimeriner Rescue welcomed Jamie home.

The whole experience was truly an honor and a joy.  We can’t wait to do another rescue mission!




Subaru and Petmate are proud sponsors of Pilots N Paws.


Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston, SC Executive Director, Pilots N Paws

Transport via Auto, Plane, and Bus for Lucky

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 06:22

Passenger Lucky Stripe made his way from Missouri to Pennsylvania. It took a few days and a combination ground and flight plan.

Cape Girardeau Airport FBO Employee Vicki Winchester really fell in love with Lucky.

The trip started with Tim Winters, also a pilot for Pilots N Paws, driving Lucky from Bollinger CO, MO to the Cape Girardeau, MO airport. From there, Jim Carney picked up Lucky and flew him to Covington, TN.

Lucky in-flight headed for TN.


Jim’s day wasn’t done as the mode of travel changed to his F150 pickup truck to meet a commercial animal transport called Got Orphans Transport.

Lucky in Jim’s F150 after his plane ride from MO

Got Orphans Transport moved Lucky Strip to PA. The receiving rescue, LaMancha Animal Project, picked him up a few days after his journey started.

Lucky Strip and  Jim saying good by before boarding the bus headed for LaMancha in PA.

A short time later, everyone involved in the rescue got to hear their favorite words: “He has been adopted!!”

Lucky with his new family.

Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!

PNP Pilot Wade Roberts Flew From Pearland, TX-Rockwall, TX with fellow LVJ Pilot Scott Bennett

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 05:45

Pilot Wade Roberts was grounded on Feb. 14, when he was rear-ended in his car while stopped in traffic driving a blind Shih Tzu after a rescue flight (Precious, the little girl, happily, came through unscathed).

Surgery left him in left-hand splint, which hasn’t stopped him from flying transports while riding right/co-pilot seat in N20223, his Cessna Cardinal. On March 30, fellow Pearland (TX) Regional pilot Scott Bennett flew 223 with Wade, transporting eight dogs: an Anatolian Shepherd, two Terriers, two Chihuahuas, a Poodle, a Schnoodle and a Labradoodle from Houston to Dallas for fostering/ground connections/adoption.

“Great day,” said Wade. “It was a privilege and a pleasure to fly with Scott, a damn fine pilot, and to move these pooches.” Wade looks forward to losing the hand-splint on April 8, and to getting back to flying dogs several times a week.



Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!


Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston, SC Executive Director Pilots N Paws

Annie – The Sun Will Come Out in CT

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 07:12

Annie was a San Antonio stray on death row, at Brooks facility, past her euthanasia date.

At Brooks

After many days of trying to free her, she was picked up by a rescue in Texas and then adopted by me. She was heartworm positive, emancipated and had 2 tick diseases. She has nubs for front teeth as she must have tried to gnaw her way through a cage and worn them down.  She also had been shot by a BB gun. I fell in love with her but had no way to get her to CT from TX. I found a wonderful group called “Pilots n Paws”. These pilots give their own time and fly needy animals like Annie to their new home. They are heroes. They give animals a chance at a new life.

Annie was at the vets for a month getting better while I had posted on Pilots N Paws for transport to CT.

So malnourished, skin and bones.

Annie had a long way to travel and it meant trying to schedule several pilots to connect in different cities from Texas to Connecticut. There were weather delays and changes to the original flight plans.

Brian and Annie

Brian was my first pilot, but due to maintenance on his plane, he could not fly her, but he went out of his way and picked her up at the vets in San Antonio and kept her overnight. He would take her to meet another pilot, Wade in Houston.

Annie goes to Houston to meet Wade Roberts and stay the night with Wade.

Weather delays the flights and Wade generously keeps Annie for another 4 nights before the weather clears.

Annie with Wade’s dog Cessna.

Annie meets Bruce Ellard in Grenada MS and is ready to travel to TN.

Annie and Bruce

Annie meets Nancy McEntee and her family who keep her the next two nights until the next flight can be made.

Slumber party at the McEntire household

Annie ready to make her next flight to meet her new mom in Reading PA.

Annie is handed off to Larry Stall headed to Reading PA

Home Sweet Home last after a car ride to Connecticut.

Annie and her new sister Zoey.

There are no words to express my deep appreciation to all the pilots that gave their own time to take Annie in and fly Annie home.
God Bless you all!!!!
Annie’s new mom

Mom – Tell me the story again of how I was rescued and how I flew in an airplane


Wade had a special treat on his leg.  Here’s his nugget, “Meanwhile, NASA was delaying its flight of Endeavor, the last space shuttle, piggybacked to a special 747, from Cape Canaveral to Houston for a fly-by and display; originally, it was to arrive Monday morning, but weather forced a postponement to Tuesday, and, then, Wednesday. I knew that the FAA was going to impose a TFR (temporary flight restriction) around Ellington Field, where the shuttle was to land. Before I went to bed Tuesday night, I made one last weather and TFR check. The TFR was to start at 10 a.m. No problem, I thought; I’m taking off at 9 a.m. and will be well out of the TFR boundary by then. Sure enough, though, when I checked first thing Wednesday morning, the FAA had moved the TFR start up an hour. I called for a flight briefing: the weather was excellent, and the TFR was not a no-fly zone, but had special conditions. At the hangar after pre-flighting N20223, I had to call and file a flight plan and had to call Houston Center/ZHU/TRACON (terminal radar control) with my aircraft number, departure time and destination. They issued me in advance a code to squawk on the transponder. Before taking off, I had to radio Houston Approach for permission to depart, which I received exactly at 9:00:00 a.m. The controller immediately cleared me to an altitude higher than I had ever before been assigned (Pearland is just a few miles from Houston’s Hobby Airport, from which Southwest Airlines flies). I was above a cloud layer when the reason became apparent: I heard the controller vectoring Pluto 905 Heavy (the 747/space shuttle combo) below me to land at Ellington. I couldn’t see it for the clouds, but I’ll always remember when 20223, little Annie and I flew above Endeavor.”


Reindeer Annie


Nighty, nite !!

Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!

Broken Window to Survive

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 06:48

Dave Whitney provided some much needed transportation to a mama dog and her 7 puppies. The story begins with good samaratins in Elk City…

Saving the unlucky dogs is a family affair.

“I received the call on this girl today…She has been seen at a store in Elk City… Skinny and with some skin issues…They called the pound, and when they got there, she ran they followed her… she went to a house near by and she went through a broken window..Neighbors came out… they told her story…In December, she was adopted from a pound in Clinton (HELL HOLE) she gave birth in January… a week ago, her owners went to jail… her and the babies were locked up inside… To feed them, she broke through the window… every day, she has been seen bringing food back through the window… she was caring for her babies… Now, she is in jail…. another hell hole, high kill pound and tonight, they are suppose to go get her babies…PLEASE… she needs help…. I have no way to do anything, other than get her and help transport…Anyone???”

Melissa Haner (Altus, OK) got the ball rolling and contacted Dave to request help transporting her (Buffy) and her puppies. They arranged all of the details and Terry Lynn, also from OK was able to spring Buffy from the pound (high kill). The puppies were gathered from an abandoned house, where they were born and driven to the airport the morning of the flight. Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary, in Crawford, CO, offered to keep them, get them healthy and adopt them out to good homes eventually. Tami volunteered to meet Dave at the airport to get the pups to Black Canyon.

With high winds predicted, the flight was iffy, but Dave got a very early start and everything went without a hitch. The forecast winds didn’t show up until later (after he was on the ground safe), and this baffled all the controllers he talked to during the flight (good karma?).


Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!

Rupert’s Flight Today!

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 13:38


Rupert with PNP Pilot Mark Mattie

I just wanted to send you a picture of Rupert with one of his pilots, Mark Mattie.  Rupert is flying today from Reading, PA to New Hampshire.  He is a 4 year old, diabetic min pin, who was on death row at a shelter in Virginia.  We found the perfect foster for him in New Hampshire and the only way we would have been able to save him was with the help of Pilots N Paws.  I am eternally grateful to you for all you do. God Bless, Megan Megan Openhym Founder/President God’s Grace Canine Rescue, Inc.

Subaru and Petmate are proud sponsors of Pilots N Paws.


Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston, SC Executive Director, Pilots N Paws

Guess The Weight Of The Largest Dog Flown By PNP Pilot John Davis!!

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 05:44

Hey everyone, meet this lovable Great Dane named Media. PNP Pilot John Davis flew her from a bad home to a good home. She’s the largest dog he’s ever flown, and you’d be right if you guessed her at a loveable 110lbs!

Media is a big girl with an enormous heart to match and she is house trained. She

Media at the beginning of her trip in Kentucky

is good with other dogs but prefers people over other dogs and wants to be someone’s companion, if not people will chase cats to play.

Media would be a great companion because she wants nothing more than to be with you. “Media was a loveable Dog. She just rested her head on my shoulder just like the Majestic Lady that she was.” said pilot John Davis

Media would most likely do best in a home as the only dog since she is focused on her people. Her size is significant so a home with older children or just adults would be a good fit for her. When she raises her ears she has one that is crazy which makes her so cute.  She has a dominant personality but is a good girl.

Media at her foster home

She went into temporary foster care in Kentucky to get vetted. She then traveled to West Virginia to catch the plane. We had some delays as weather precluded John, our pilot, from flying to Huntington, WV to pick up Media. This ended in having to do a ground run. I think what is interesting about her story is how many people helped. 2 people in KY (shelter volunteer and foster), two drivers to WV, foster in WV, coordinator in WV, 5 drivers from WV to Baltimore, including the Pilot that drove Media from Cumberland, MD. She is now in foster care in Baltimore).

-John Davis, PNP Pilot

Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!

#petmateproducts Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston Executive Director, Pilots N Paws


Raptors flown to Montana

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 05:34

Kari Gabriel of Montana Wild Wings Recover Center with Duke the Peregrine Falcon

Meet Duke and Sweeney

Our  newest education Ambassadors, Duke and Sweeney, flew 1062 miles in just under 12 hours from Wickenburg, Arizona to Kalispell, on Thursday, March 13th!  Duke, a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon, and Sweeney, a beautiful Swainson’s Hawk, arrived at Glacier Jet Center, courtesy of three very generous private pilots that fly animals in need across the country, as members of Pilots N Paws.  Dr. Michael Pardis, of Helena, MT and the third pilot in this cross-country trip, delivered Sweeney and Duke to Beth Benjamin Watne, MWWRC Director on Thursday evening about 5 PM.


Duke is a male Peale’s Peregrine Falcon, and is approximately 1 ½ years old.  He arrived at Liberty Wildlife in December, 2012, as a first year bird.  He was seen hitting a window of a business building in Scottsdale, and  fractured his left metacarpals (wing.)  He underwent surgery to repair his wing, but the surgery was unsuccessful due to a compromised blood supply from the injury, so the wing had to be amputated below the wrist, rendering him un-releasable.  He was a first year bird when the injury occurred.  Duke is now undergoing training with handlers to be a part of MWWRC’s education program, and will soon be visiting schools and events, thrilling audiences everywhere.  He still has his juvenile plumage, so it will be fun to watch him change during his next feather molt!
Sweeney is a *male Swainson’s hawk, and is also approximately 1 ½ years old.  He arrived at Liberty Wildlife in


October 2012, from Sierra Vista, AZ, with an older fracture of the left carpus (wing).  It was some type of impact injury, and surgery was not an option due to the location of the fracture.  He was a first year bird when injured probably during his first migration.  (*We may never know for sure if Sweeney is female or male, due to his weight – he is right at the in-between weight that distinguishes males from females.)

Duke and Sweeney’s journey began at about 4 AM in Wickenburg, AZ, where Beth and her husband Bob Watne, spend part of their winter.  Nate Rydman and his Dad Allen, flew their 1950 Cessna 170 A Model from Moab, UT to  Wickenburg, on Wednesday afternoon and stayed with Bob at the Watne’s home that night.  Unfortunately, Beth had flown home earlier in the week to deal with a foot of water in the basement of their Kalispell home.  At first light on Thursday morning, Nate, Allen and Bob loaded the birds in the plane, and the Rydman’s took off on the first leg of the journey to Heber, UT.  There, they handed off Sweeney and Duke to Nathan Smith, another private pilot.  Nathan is from Idaho Falls, ID, and flew his 1967 Piper Cherokee 180 into Heber to pick up the birds and fly them back to Idaho Falls.  Michael Pardis and his daughter Allison, flew from Helena to meet Nathan in Idaho Falls, and then transferred Duke and Sweeney to Michael’s 1967 Beechcraft Bonanza, for the final leg of the journey into Kalispell.

Did you follow all of that?  One rare March bluebird day with unusually cooperative weather through several mountain ranges, two beautiful birds of prey flying thousands of miles in that one beautiful day, and three incredible, philanthropic pilots who volunteer their time, fuel and planes to give animals a second chance.  Duke and Sweeney are a wonderful gift from our friends at Liberty Wildlife Center in Scottsdale, AZ, and we are also very grateful to them for allowing us to give them a permanent home.

About the Pilots and Paws N Pilots

Nate Rydman lives in Moab, UT, and is a full time pilot, flying for Pilots N Paws (PNP) in his spare time.  This was his third trip for the nonprofit organization, and he said PNP is similar to another group that uses long haul truck drivers.  This was the first trip he participated in where he met up with other pilots, and also the first involving birds!  Nate and his Dad both fly for PNP, and sometimes are able to fly together.  Nathan Smith owns his plane with several partners, and he has been registered with PNP for about 6 years, and has flown about 6 flights and several trips by car for PNP.  He enjoys flying, and this is a great way to build hours and help animals in need.  Mike Pardis is a retired Chiropractor, and enjoys flying in his spare time for a good cause.  He and his daughter Allison jumped at the opportunity to combine their love of flying, animals and the opportunity for a quick hello to his son, Alex,  on their way through Kalispell.  Mike said, “My first experience with a Peregrine Falcon was while I was in high school and climbing in the Gates of the Mountains, near Helena.  I had a Peregrine dive at me while I was climbing near a cliff, and then he did it again!”  All three pilots are able to monitor the PNP website ( for flight opportunities and choose those that are a good fit for them, this being PNP’s first mission with birds.  All three pilots all had incredible weather for flying (and mentioned how rare that is for the distance they traveled that day).  Some of Nate’s pictures taken on his flight from Moab to Wickenburg, and also of Nathan Smith taking off for Idaho Falls are included.  

Beth Benjamin Watne, MWWRC Director, stated, ” MWWRC operates solely on monetary contributions from individuals and organizations, food donations from the public and FWP, and veterinary services from local veterinarians.    MWWRC volunteers spend their own money on needed supplies, food and gas, and occasionally medication, for resident birds.  FWP fisheries personnel bag and donate fish for our eagles, and sometimes transport birds for us.  The mice, which the majority of the residents require, are purchased, and cost the center .50 to 1.00 each.  Approximately 25 mice are feed daily to the owls, so it adds up pretty quick.  We couldn’t do this work without our wonderful volunteers or the help we receive from FWP, local veterinarians and eye doctors, and the monetary contributions to help buy food for our birds.”

 Here are some pics of Duke the Peregrine Falcon out enjoying the March sun!  Both are settled in nicely and glad to be in their new home!

Thank you again for your gift of flying them to us.  We appreciate what you do to help animals get to their new homes!  Sweeney the Swainson’s Hawk is also pictured.

Kind Regards,
Kari Gabriel, Communications Director
Montana Wild Wings Recover Center
Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!
Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston Executive Director Pilots N Paws

Duke the Peregrine Falcon out enjoying the sun today

Duke the Peregrine with Beth

Sweeney sunning himself with one of our volunteers, Doug

Sweeney, sunning himself with one of our volunteers, Doug

Charlie and Mark Save The Day!

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 05:25

 Bridges to Safety Animal Rescue pulled this little chi mix from a high kill shelter. When at the last moment the foster backed out and there was nowhere to put her. Panic mode kicked in, until a wonderful foster stepped up for Mila in MA but needed to get her there. Charlie Halo and Mark Mattie came to the rescue. Mark flew the first leg and Charlie met him to pick up this little lady who was very fearful. But as you can see Charlie has a way with dogs and it looks like she was wrapped around his little finger.  These two saved the day and deserve a huge atta boys!  Even Mila watching Charlie take off says “thank you Charlie.” 









Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!

Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston Executive Director, Pilots N Paws

Treasured Footage Of Late PNP Pilot Ken Volk

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 05:05

Check out this wonderful video from pilot Dave Whitney who has been flying with us since 2009.  Some footage is especially touching as it’s devoted to Ken Volk, a beloved PNP pilot who passed away last summer.  This is a true treasure for everyone who knew Ken!

“I was going through past emails and flights and it made me a little teary eyed. I put together a video of some of the most memorable flights and  thought you might be interested in taking a look. I know how much you  guys have done for these animals, so it seems minimal in comparison, but  it has filled my life and flights with joy.”
- Blue Skies,
Dave Whitney


Subaru and Petmate are proud sponsors of Pilots N Paws.


Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston Executive Director, Pilots N Paws

Unwanted Springhill puppies get free flight to Minnesota

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 05:16

Pilots N Paws offers free transportation for rescue animals across the United States.

Mar. 13, 2014  link to original story

Written by Vickie Welborn


SPRINGHILL — When a stray pregnant dog decided to have her litter of puppies on Carroll and Helen Timmons’ patio after Christmas, the retired couple was overwhelmed.

They quickly reached out to Springhill-based Furbaby Second Chance Rescue and its leaders, Judy Teague and Liz Harkins. Hopes that homes soon would be found didn’t quite work out that way.

It seems no one wanted the Labrador mix puppies, with the exception of one of the surviving eight that did go to an adopter. Justin Thomas of Lumberjack Rescue-Springhill also helped spread the word.

“We tried so hard to find homes locally but we got no response,” Teague said. “I guess Lab puppies are a dime a dozen.”

That’s where the strong networking among animal rescue groups came into play. Through word of mouth and sharing information about the puppies on Facebook, Teague learned of No Dog Left Behind in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

She emailed a photo of the pups snuggling in a wheelbarrow to the canine rescue and shortly after five were singled out for adoption – sight unseen. “I’m sure when they get there the other two will not be far behind,” Teague said.

Then came the big hurdle: how to transport seven rambunctious Labrador puppies almost 1,000 miles to the north.

Teague was familiar with Pilots N Paws but wasn’t initially optimistic she could get any interest from the volunteer pilots to make a stop in Springhill. She was wrong. Within two hours of making an inquiry on the group’s website, Teague received two responses from pilots willing to make the trip.

“It was amazing,” Teague said.

The troublesome winter weather delayed for several weeks the effort of Pilots N Paws coordinator Carolyn Harris to prepare a flight plan. Thursday it all finally came together.

Retired 747 pilot Jim Carney arrived early at the Springhill Airport from his home near Memphis, Tenn. He was tasked with the first leg of a four-stop trip that took him, the puppies, their leashes, Ginger cookie snacks, water and puppy pads to Kennett, Mo.

Pilots Eric Cooper, Jim Bordoni and Jim Lyon were lined up to take up the other legs from Olathe, Kan., Des Moines, Iowa and ultimately to Princeton, Minn.

“They’ll be there at 7 (Thursday evening),” Carney said.

Approximately 2,500 pilots donate their time and expenses to transporting rescue animals to their new homes. The nonprofit organization was started in 2008 by Jon Wehrenberg and Debi Boies after a simple offer from Wehrenberg to fly a Doberman from Florida to South Carolina expanded into a fully established web-based message board where pilots can access information about animals in need of transport.
Pilots do not accept donations for their efforts. Donations can be made to the organization. Learn more about Pilots N Paws at

Carney said pilots such as he donate their time and flight-related expenses because they love what they do. Combine the fun in the air with dogs and you have his two passions in life.

Often, Carney said he is asked why he or the other pilots don’t offer similar transport services for people in need. His explanation is what they do does help humans because of the joy the animals bring to their lives.

It’s the rescuers, he said, who have the tough job of caring for the dogs until homes are found. “What I do is easy. … I love flying and I’ll keep on doing this as long as I can. Why not?” he asked. He estimates he’s transported about 1,050 animals in the past five years.

That experience aided Carney who calmly talked to the puppies as he positioned them inside of several crates in his white and blue Beech Baron. Their initial whimpers at the strange surroundings would stop as soon as they settled down, he assured the rescuers assembled for the send-off.

There were a few stiff upper lips as those who had a hand in the puppies’ care for the past two months watched with mixed emotions as Carney taxied down the airport runway and took to the air. Carroll Timmons joked how he’d miss how the gang — which had been sheltered at his house since their birth — would rush the back door with excitement any time he opened it. But all realized the four-legged babies, unwanted in Louisiana, were being welcomed with open arms in Minnesota.

Pilots transport rescue dogs from Panhandle to SWFL

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 05:57

link to original story March 14, 2014 Special to the Reporter ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Gulf Coast Humane Society received dogs transported by Pilots N Paws on March 1.

Six dogs were transported to Page Field Airport from the Florida Panhandle to be rescued by GCHS.

The program Pilots N Paws was founded in 2008 by animal lover Debi Boies and pilot Jon Wehrenberg when he agreed to help Boies by flying a rescued Doberman from Florida to South Carolina, to save the dog’s life.

The first trip was a success and the two brainstormed on how to rescue other animals. Spay/Neuter campaigns in parts of the country were working, while in others parts, primarily in the south, pet overpopulation was still a huge problem. There had to be a way to turn a problem into a solution? Former pets were dying needlessly. They needed transport.

It all became a reality when the website,, was launched to provide a location where private pilots could provide free transport, and people and organizations who rescue, shelter, or foster animals could connect to save lives. Today the organization has 3,168 pilot volunteers and 10,551 volunteers.

For more information about Gulf Coast Humane Society or the dogs being transported, call 332-0364 or email GCHS is located at 2010 Arcadia Street in Fort Myers.


Thu, 03/27/2014 - 05:15
We flew Julie (pup shown in the middle of group photo) from Leesburg Executive over to Trenton-Mercer, New Jersey. Julie has had a rough 9 years being forcibly bred by a back yard breeder in VA. After rescue, an ad was placed and the beautiful family (mom and two girls pictured while dad was unable to attend due to work) applied for adoption and were accepted. We had a chance to talk with the family and they are an absolute perfect fit for the pup. They will be changing Julie’s name (given to her by the rescue) to ‘Hope.’ Why the name ‘Hope?’ Because the adorable little 4 year old being held by her mother is fighting a strong battle with Leukemia. I was very pleased to hear that she has less than a year left and she’ll be done with treatment! I’ve been following her story on this page:
Infinite Love for Natalie Grace.After they met their newest family member, we let them climb into our little aircraft and they were overwhelmed with excitement! Just simply moving the ailerons seemed to leave them speechless and smiling from ear to ear. Their favorite part was operating the flaps. We must have cycled them at least a dozen times.

Felt good knowing we made that family’s day!
Definitely one of the best entries in my logbook. Period.

A huge and well-deserved thanks to Treasured K9′s Inc, 501(c)(3), for coordinating the effort to relocate Julie. Kristen, the founder, has a clear and passionate devotion to the well-being of these little guys and gals. She was a pleasure to work with and I’d like to thank her and all of her volunteers with the smooth overall success of the trip.

Pilot Tripp Costas Tulsa – Denver

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 05:32

It was a great Sunday morning in Tulsa when we met Nashville based pilot Tripp Costas for an early morning rescue mission. Mr. Costas was in town on business and made time to transport a litter of 5 Rottweiler/ Lab mix puppies, a Saint Bernard and a Shepherd mix to rescues in Colorado. His compassion for these animals was obvious and we very much enjoyed loading with him.

Our sincerest thanks,

Mountain Pet, Canine Candor Rescues and their foster families
Subaru and Petmate are Proud Partners of PNP!
Posted by Kathleen Quinn Charleston Executive Director, Pilots N Paws