Being a pilot is much more than about having a passion for flight. True aviators and aviatrixes enjoy the opportunity to utilize their passion to help others. In this case, local pilots are taking flight to complete a very special mission and help two organizations, Pilots N Paws and Great Escape Rescued K9s.
Each year, the volunteers of Pilots N Paws save thousands of lives. Those lives come in the form of any animal that can be transported using a plane.
The flight began at Calhoun County Airport (KPKV) with pilots, Dianna Stanger and Mike Solomon departing into a clear beautiful sky on an IFR (Instrument flight rules) flight plan. The mission: to transport a German Shepherd that was four years old named Sista to Cleburne Regional Airport (south of Fort Worth) and transport a second dog, Buddy, who was rescued from a kill shelter in Arlington on the return flight.
Cheryl Burris, co-founder/co-director of Great Escape Rescued K9s brought the German Shepherd to the Calhoun County Airport.
“We started Great Escape last summer when we were made aware of the plight of hundreds of German Shepherds being killed in ‘kill’ shelters in Los Angeles, California,” said Burris. “We decided we were going to try to help save some.”
Since then they have rescued 50 Texan and 39 Californian dogs. They also rehabilitate the rescue dogs to save in order to help them find a great forever home.
“Sista was a very sweet girl who seemed to sense that any journey she was on was taking her to a better place than the list she had been on to be euthanized. The little girl who got Sista will have a friend for life, as Sista touched everyone the day we moved her,” said Stanger.
Stanger also noted with a smile that their return passenger, Buddy, was “a sweet little guy who took the back seat over and then insisted on trying to join us in the cockpit while flying to his new family back in Victoria.”
As this was the first time for both pilots to fly for Paws N Pilots it is easy to see that it will become de rigor in Calhoun County.
“It’s something I hope to do often. It’s doing something I love, and at the same time helping bring a deserving animal that would otherwise face euthanasia, to a loving family,” said Solomon. “Who wouldn’t want to do that?”
For more information about this event please contact Jasmine Gordon at 361-746-8846 or via email at [email protected].