One of the best parts about being a pilot is when you have the opportunity to use your flying skills to help someone—or something—to live a better life. Pilots To The Rescue (PTTR) is one of those organizations that helps rescue and find new homes for abandoned pets.
In any event, 2024 is off to a good start. In January, PTTR rescued seven dogs and 42 cats. One of the cats, named Story, was abandoned by her family in Virginia. According to PTTR, the family moved away and left Story behind. Story, a calico indoor cat, was found on the front doorstep unaware that she had been left behind.
“Believing her former owners would eventually return, Story remained in this same spot and endured several days of rain and frigid temperatures,” PPTR said in a statement.
Fortunately, a volunteer from the Wise County Humane Society who had passed by the house before noticed Story waiting at the doorstep. The volunteer sensed Story’s fear and physical suffering, then asked around the neighborhood whether the cat belonged to anyone and learned that Story had been dumped. The volunteer brought Story to the Wise County Humane Society, which coordinated with PTTR on January 14 to transport her and 30 other cats to its rescue partner in New England.
The cats are now awaiting their forever homes.
Less than a week later, PTTR learned about a young Shih Tzu named Pixie who had lost her litter of puppies during an emergency cesarean section. In addition to medical care, Pixie was in dire need of love and support, which her former shelter in Nassau County, Long Island, didn’t have the resources to provide.
PTTR sprang into action, and volunteer Jenna Rouillard flew to New York to retrieve Pixie and fly the convalescing dog to Bowdoin, Maine, where the Minnis Sanctuary agreed to adopt Pixie and give her a “fur-ever home.”
READ MORE: Rescue Dogs and Airplanes
Thanks to volunteers who supply transportation, be it on wheels or wings, pets like Story and Pixie are provided a chance for a better life with people who care about them.
PTTR enters 2024 with a new larger aircraft in the fleet, and the group plans to complete more missions, traveling farther distances and rescuing more animals.
In 2023 the organization rescued 1,003 homeless pets. It has a goal of tripling that number “over the next 12 months.”
PTTR is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven, 501c(3) public benefit aviation organization. Its mission is to transport domestic and endangered animals at risk. PTTR supports a network of trained volunteer pilots who transport thousands of animals from kill shelters to places where they can await adoption and find forever homes.
If you would like to help, visit the PTTR website.