Pilots N Paws Aims To Airlift 5,000 Pets

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Pilots N Paws, a nonprofit that launched last year with the aim to help fly shelter pets to new homes and save them from euthanasia, plans to airlift 5,000 animals during the eight days starting Sept. 12. The organization hopes the airlift will encourage more pilots to donate their time (and airplanes) to the cause, and bring attention to the plight of abandoned pets, which are euthanized at the rate of 4 million per year. Many of those animals could be saved if they could be transported from areas where there are too many pets to other parts of the U.S. where they are in demand. The event will also help to promote general aviation as a force for good in our communities, the organizers say. "General aviation in this country is threatened," says the group's Web site, citing Homeland Security directives and user fees. "We want to see general aviation perceived by the public accurately as a driving force in our economy ... We want to see general aviation free of these threats." Pilots who would like to volunteer to fly an animal rescue transport can visit the Pilots N Paws Web site for more info.

Pilots N Paws does not directly arrange the flights, but acts as an information portal where pilots can find needs listed and contact the shelters to work out the details. In the 18 months that Pilots N Paws has been operating, about 600 pilots have signed up and over 1,000 pets have been saved. Click here for a recent USA Today story about the PNP 5000 event. Click here for AVweb's podcast interview with Pilots n Paws founder John Wehrenberg in April.