Pilots Help Pets Cheat Death

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It's as good a reason to fly as any and sometimes the reward is a big, wet kiss. Flying Paws, a non-profit group of Arizona pilots, fatten their logbooks by getting abandoned pets away from shelters, where they may face euthanasia, and into new, loving homes. Marilyn Butler Subach founded the program a year ago after rescuing an abandoned and abused golden retriever from a remote Indian Reservation. That got her thinking that maybe there was a need to provide emergency flights for animals. "It's been a godsend," Casey Kent, who runs the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Rescue, told The Arizona Republic. Subach and her fellow volunteers have flown 77 cats and dogs on 55 flights, all of them to new homes. Ken McLeod donated his company plane to the effort. "It's a good thing to do, the right thing to do," he said. McLeod said some people think the Flying Paws volunteers are foolish to spend their time and money flying animals but he said it's worth it to him to see the look on the faces of owners when they get their new pets. And it's not only the animals and their owners that benefit, said pilot Mike Fadely. "Today, I flew over the Grand Canyon and was able to deliver a dog to a new home," he said. "Hard to beat that."