A day earlier, Molly, a 40-pound terrier mix, didn’t have such a favorable future. She was nearing the end of her housing time at Chattooga County Animal Control.
In a twist of fate, volunteers at the center were active on an online discussion forum for the nonprofit Pilots N Paws Pet Rescue Services and found a volunteer with wings, pilot Matthew Brown of Kennesaw, who was willing to help transport the pets on their way to a new shelter in Chicago, Ill. The organization serves as a place for shelters and pilots to coordinate rescue missions from one shelter to another or to foster homes.
Pilots donate their time, fuel and aircraft for the missions.
A veteran pilot of 10 years, Brown finished fueling his Piper Cherokee 180 and looked toward his other furry passengers for the day: four kittens and a Labrador mix puppy named Lollipop. The animals were bound for a shelter in Chicago, Ill., and Brown was flying them to Louisville, Ky., where they would be picked up by another volunteer and then travel the rest of the way by car.
Carlean Cundiff of Trion, a volunteer at the Chattooga shelter, escorted the animals to their rendezvous with Brown. She said the flying saves a lot of time for rescue workers and alleviates stress on the animals with reduced travel time. In Molly’s case, it was the faster the better.
“She can get up there a lot quicker, especially being pregnant,” said Cundiff. “We’re hoping she doesn’t deliver. I think she’s got a few more days.”
Although not being an animal owner because of work schedule constraints, Brown said he enjoys donating his time to the organization.
“For me, it’s just being able to help use something that I have a skill in and it’s something that I have the ability to utilize towards helping the community,” said Brown.
For more information about Pilots N Paws visit www.pilotsnpaws.org.