text and photos by Bruce Estes
Pilots N Paws is a volunteer organization that links pilots and animal rescue groups that need to have small animals relocated. Typically the animals are dogs, from puppies to large German Shepherds, occasionally cats, and I once saw a request to move 5 caged rats. The relocation can be from a few hundred miles to several thousand across the country.
I flew my first Pilots N Paws mission on February 14. We were relocating Walter, a nine year old German Shorthair Pointer, from Fresno to Lodi where he joined his foster parents while a forever home is found for Walter. Anna, the foster parent, said that her husband might want to keep Walter because he is so cute. I flew from Lincoln to Chandler, picked up Walter, flew him to Lodi, and then flew myself back to Lincoln. It was total of 2.9 hours in my Cardinal. The flight was uneventful. Walter was a little restless but took the flight in stride.
The Nor Cal German Shorthair rescue group posted pictures on their Facebook page. I was really impressed with the gratitude expressed by the group.
If you are interested in participating in Pilots N Paws, you can sign up online and then you will receive email notifications of relocation requests in your area that fit your profile-distance you will fly, etc. I have another flight coming up in a week where a puppy is being flown by a gentleman named Diego from southern California to Lincoln, from Lincoln by myself to Ashland, Oregon, and then by a pilot named Robert
on to Spokane. If you like animals and like to fly, this is a nice opportunity to provide a great service to the community.