Last month we had booked a trip to visit Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort. We had also scheduled a Pilots N Paws rescue flight on the way home to bring a German Shepherd back from South Carolina to the the D.C. metro area. Unfortunately Hurricane Florence had other plans, and our whole trip was canceled. When a natural disaster hits, there are usually many animals that need to be transported to new locations. So last weekend when the same rescue organization reached out about a couple puppies needing to be moved from a post hurricane area, we jumped at the chance to help out. Keep reading to learn more about our flight path that day (and for some really cute puppy pics!)
Very Cool Side Note: we had a picture of the original German Sheppard we were supposed to bring back from Hilton Head. Julie’s Mom Lauree saw the picture and instantly fell in love. The dog was able to be transported by another pilot before the hurricane and was recently adopted by Lauree and Kerry. Daisy is enjoying her new home with her furry siblings.
The day started at our home airport in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This rescue would take us through a couple other states today: Virginia and North Carolina. It was a little cloudy when we departed, but as is generally the case when the weather starts to cool down in the fall, the day turned out to be beautiful with really good visibility. It was still a bit early to see a lot of fall colors, but we did see some pretty sights like Lake Anna and many cool corn maze designs from above!
The puppies had started their journey in Laurens, South Carolina, where they were picked up by another Pilot (funnily enough also named Andrew!) who is a well known Pilots N Paws veteran. From there, they were flown to an airport northeast of Raleigh, NC, where we met for a tradeoff. After a quick water and potty break, we got the two pups ready for the next leg of their journey.
Ok now get ready for a lot of cute pics! Meet Alex, a sweet little boy who looked to be mostly lab and loved giving kisses. And College Park (named for the area she was found in) a lab/Pitt mix who was super happy and energetic. Both puppies were about 6-7 months old and were being transported up north to hopefully find their new fur-ever homes. They are being fostered through Promises Animal Rescue, an organization in Virginia who specializes in saving Labs and Shepherds from kill shelters.
Once we got them settled into the plane, we departed for Warrenton, VA, just southwest of Washington, DC. They were very good through the flight, sitting quietly and occasionally popping a head between the seats for some attention. Upon landing at Warrenton, we were greeted by quite the crowd of the families and friends who would be fostering the puppies. After chatting for a while and getting some pictures, we said goodbye and hopped back in the plane for a quick flight home.
Even though we have had the pleasure of completing three of these rescues so far, it never gets old. We absolutely love being able to help out the various rescue organizations. We are fortunate to be able to experience aviation in a way that most people aren’t able to so this is one way we feel we can give back to the community.
Total Airports Visited: 3
1. Gaithersburg, MD
2. Louisburg, NC
3. Warrenton, VA
Total Distance: 534 Miles
Total Flight Time: 4.5 hours
Total Pets Transported: 2
So far, we have rescued 8 animals, visited 10 different airports in four states, and flown 1,611 miles. Looking forward to our next Pilots N Paws rescue mission!