Pilots N Paws is a non-profit organization that pairs those who rescue shelter or foster animals with pilot plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of animals. They help arrange or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter care, and all other related activities.
According to Gimundo, volunteer pilots such as John Quimby, an IBM executive from
, has been using his pilot’s license for a good cause: airlifting animals in need of good homes. He’s one of the 2,000 recreational pilots registered with Pilots N Paws, which was launched in 2007 by animal rescuer Debi Boies and her friend Jon Wehrenberg, a recreational pilot. West Chester, Ohio
This air-born volunteer organization was developed after Boies told her friend Wehrenberg that she wanted to adopt a Doberman who had been used in a dog-fighting ring, but was living several states away. Wehrenberg offered to fly her to
to collect the dog and bring him home. Florida
Today, volunteers like Quimby make saving animals in need a family affair by bringing along his two sons, Ethan and Aidan. Although the boys are not old enough to fly the plane, they jump on board with their dad and help keep the animals calm and happy.
The Quimby’s have not only been extending their wing to these unfortunate animals by saving them, but they have also adopted one of their rescues. According to Gimundo, on the family’s first rescue flight, the dogs being transported were frightened. Ethan, the oldest son, helped walk the dogs before they were boarded, made sure they weren’t thirsty, and played with them throughout the journey to calm them. “One of them was so special. I couldn’t bear the idea of her having to go into foster care and possibly wait months before being adopted, so I asked my Dad if we could adopt her” Ethan said. That dog, Marcie, is now part of their family.