Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rescue programs give pups a wing and a prayer

Pilots fly canine cargo to safety

Sarah Owens, of Olathe, a volunteer pilot with Pilots ’N Paws, left, and Rhonda Schademann, of Perry, a program volunteer, herd eight Labrador puppies onto an airplane for a flight out of the Lawrence Airport to Wichita and then to Denver, where six of the pups have been adopted with help from Mile High Labrador Rescue. Schademann fostered the Labs, which had been abandoned, until arrangements could be made with the plane program. For Owens, this was her 12th flight and her 48th passenger dog.

Sarah Owens, of Olathe, a volunteer pilot with Pilots ’N Paws, left, and Rhonda Schademann, of Perry, a program volunteer, herd eight Labrador puppies onto an airplane for a flight out of the Lawrence Airport to Wichita and then to Denver, where six of the pups have been adopted with help from Mile High Labrador Rescue. Schademann fostered the Labs, which had been abandoned, until arrangements could be made with the plane program. For Owens, this was her 12th flight and her 48th passenger dog.

April 1, 2010

Advertisement

Rhonda Schademann, Perry, says goodbye to one of eight puppies she fostered before their flight out of the Lawrence airport Wednesday.

Rhonda Schademann, Perry, says goodbye to one of eight puppies she fostered before their flight out of the Lawrence airport Wednesday.

Area pilots help save puppies

Area pilots working with Pilots and Paws are helping to save the lives of animals in need. The pilots fly the animals to rescue centers and new adoptive homes. Enlarge video

Private pilots all over the country are taking to the skies, volunteering both their time and aircraft to help rescue animals as part of Pilots ’N Paws.

“I thought why not combine the two things I love,” said Olathe resident Sarah Owens, who’s been flying for the organization for the past year. “So this way I get to fly and rescue animals.”

Eight Labrador puppies were brought to Lawrence on Wednesday by Perry Lake resident Rhonda Schademann. “Sometimes they really do need people just to foster the dogs overnight or for maybe a couple of nights and then get them to the airport or get them to the next meet point,” said Schademann, a foster driver.

Schademann said drivers are needed to pick up the animals from shelters. Some shelters are forced to control their animal population by euthanizing them.

Once picked up, the rescued animals are taken to “no-kill shelters” or to adoptive homes by way of private plane.

On Wednesday, eight Labrador puppies were loaded up into kennels and into Owens’ single-engine airplane at Lawrence Municipal Airport for a trip to Wichita. From there the puppies switched flights and left for their final destination in Denver.

Mile High Labrador Rescue is a Denver-based organization that works to rescue and place Labs from around the country. Six of the eight puppies already have homes. Many of those adoptive families were eagerly awaiting their new addition’s arrival at the Denver area airport.

If you would like more information, log onto pilotsnpaws.org.

Comments

kittycatty26 4 years, 8 months ago

Lawrenceguy40, I am going to pretend you didn't just say that, you heartless jerk. What's it to you? I hope you never need a helping hand of any kind. And if you do, I hope someone "throws you against a very hard stone wall."

alm77 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm not for killing animals, but flying them across the country? I would think labs would be among the easiest breeds to find a home for. They're wonderful family pets and adorable and smart. I love my pets, they are all altered and are very well taken care of. Honestly, it's not hard to do. Maybe I just don't understand the "homeless pet problem" at all. Who is bringing these unwanted animals into the world to begin with?

4 years, 8 months ago

Pilots N Paws is a great resource for pet rescuers. I've moved several dog to new homes as well as had pilots bring me a dog into rescue. The organization is solely volunteer based and these pilots get nothing but a wag and kiss from their passengers and a heartfelt thank you from us rescuers.

Alm, I don't know about these labs since I am not associated with anyone in the article. But the homeless pet problem is huge. In past people have bred their pet dogs out of their backyard for a few extra bucks or because they wanted to show their kids the miracle of birth. Along with many others, pet owners are losing their homes. Then there are the pet owners who don't believe in spay/neuter because they think it alters their dog's personality.

There are many cities now where the spay/neuter laws have stopped the homeless pet problem and that is a good thing. But the flip side is that there are people there who want pets and can't get one. That is where driving and flying pets across the country comes into play, supply and demand. At least we are supplying dogs that need homes instead of creating dogs that need homes!

Ok, I'm off my soapbox now :)

Centerville 4 years, 8 months ago

Wonderful story. Think of how happy those six families are this morning!

4 years, 8 months ago

Lawrenceguy, did you know that pilots are required to have so many flight hours every year to maintain their license? This gives the pilots time to list on their renewal forms while feeling like they have had a positive contribution in life. Many rescues are also designated charitable organizations by the IRS, so these pilots can take a deduction on their income tax return for their mileage traveled.

Looking way deeper than the cute n fluffy animal issue, your comment regarding people not being able to afford gas to drive to work makes me wonder if you are one of those people. I've personally met 5 of the volunteer pilots that assisted me thru this organization and I can say that they didn't appear to be overtly wealthy as your last comment implies (and neither am I). Looking at your last comment another way "cute, fluffy, dead calf", sure go ahead and eat it as long as it isn't my pet. Honestly, I'll probably be eating it's older sibling for dinner, aka nice rare, juicy steak on my plate.

JRS 4 years, 8 months ago

A good portion of these organizations are run on donations, so if you haven't made a donation you aren't neccesarily paying for these trips to happen. It really shouldn't matter to you what/ who someone else wants to spend their time on.

afraidnot 4 years, 8 months ago

Lawrenceguy--its called multi-tasking. Usually they find pilots who are headed a certain anyway and send a dog with them since its no extra trouble for the pilot. The same type of program exists for truckers if they're headed the same way as a dog, they'll give the dog a ride. Think of it as carpooling. Not such a hard concept to understand.

PeoplePetsnRespect 4 years, 8 months ago

lawrenceguy40, I, too, am puzzled by reactions --but NOT why people care about living things. It's more when people hear about animal rescue and their first comment is, "That's nice but what about abused children who need our help?" Like it is one or the other? First of all, many people who do rescue work, are also just as compassionate to children & others. I try to do both and I know many other animal lovers who do the same.

I would ask those people who think the children are being shorted by someone rescuing an animal - what specifically are THEY doing for the children in their community? What have they contributed to that person who is unemployed or bankrupt due to medical bills? Why judge people who are doing SOMETHING?

Second, it never should be between helping children OR helping animals. How about questioning why someone spends a thousand bucks on season tickets? How about that beer money? Golf? Cosmetics? Ipod? HD TV? We all spend money on luxury items we don't need in order to survive. Yet, for the animals and chidren we are talking about - the money and support IS a matter surviving. You may do alot for others but I would guess you have disposable income used for things not needed for your survival. Shouldn't we all question that instead of making it about helping children OR animals?

Lastly, check out the research on a person's attitude and treatment of animals & how that can indicate other things going wrong in the home. Child abuse, Spouse abuse, neglect... Sometimes those things are discovered by someone who is rescuing a starved pet they see outside and it leads to what is going on inside the home. There is more to animal rescue than what you assume it to be.
As for alm77, just a comment to being surprised at labs not having homes.
Puppy mills and backyard breeders operate off supply and demand. If one breed of dog becomes popular because of the media- movies, actors & their pets, then the public wants the same. Unfortunately, for labs, the cute labs we see on commercials have done them an injustice. People allow those litters and if they aren't yellow or whatever desired color they want & they can't sell them then they get dumped or killed. On a national rescue site - wwwpetfinder.com there are close to 300,000 homeless animals. Over 21,000 of those are labs- by far the highest number. After the movie 101 Dalmations came out, the same thing happened. 25% of the dogs in shelters and rescues are pure breeds. The answer is to spay & neuter, shut down puppy mills and be either a responsible pet owner or don't get a pet. Sounds like you are a very responsible pet owner and you're right - it's not that difficult to be one. Compassionate people don't choose between people and pets. They help both.

sce754 4 years, 8 months ago

I have not personally met any of the Pilots 'n Paws pilots but have the utmost respect for what they are doing. As a rescue transport driver I can appreciate the time, effort, and yes, money these pilots contribute. It gives me a great feeling of self satisfaction to know that I have helped an animal get from certain death to a home where they will be loved and care for.

GREAT GOING PILOTS 'N PAWS!!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.