Now more than ever, you are needed to donate your old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter. With financial cut-backs, repairs on shelters are often put off, so if it's drafty, the animals suffer. I know my shelter uses rags to stuff under doors. No kidding! Empty out those closets... this is your chance to get rid of stuff and do something useful!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pilots N Paws -- another one for "Thank-God-This-Exists"

via the San Francisco Chronicle:

Shelter pets escape death row by plane

A few lucky shelter animals are taking to the friendly skies in search of a better life.

With the help of volunteers, like pilot Jeff Bennett, Pilots N Paws transports pets from overwhelmed shelters to communities, often ones with higher median income, where they'll stand a better chance of getting a new "leash" on life with an adoptive family. The pilots generously donate their time, planes and fuel to the cause.

Bennett, 50, is a retired Florida Keys businessman with a Cirrus SR22 and a soft spot for homeless dogs. His most recent "mission" brought the total number of animals he's relocated for Pilots N Paws to 124, which, in addition to dogs, includes a menagerie of snakes and lizards, a chicken and a potbellied pig. He's been volunteering with the charity for about a year.

According to an AP article, Pilots N Paws is seeking to transport 5,000 animals to safety in a flurry of flights this week designed to raise awareness of the charity and draw attention to the importance of spaying and neutering.

Pilots N Paws was founded in February 2008 when a Knoxville, Tennessee pilot named Jon Wehrenberg offered to fly his friend, Debi Boies, from her home near Greenville, South Carolina, down to Florida to pick up a Doberman Pinscher she wanted to adopt from a rescue group. Wehrenberg wondered if there might be a regular need for such a service.

The answer turned out to be an enthusiastic yes. Moving animals from high-kill shelters around the country is not new for rescue groups, but the process usually involves long, exhausting car trips.

The Pilots N Paws website currently serves as a forum where shelters and rescue groups can connect with volunteer pilots. More than 680 pilots have already transported thousands of animals — many of them rescued from death row at overpopulated, high-kill shelters in Southern states, where people are less likely to sterilize their animals.

Learn more about Pilots N Pets and how you can help.

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