Rescue Flight Brings Dogs in Need to Palm Harbor
Palm Harbor's Suncoast Animal League teamed up with Pilots N Paws over the weekend to save 20 dogs from high-kill shelters in other states. Some found homes Saturday at Fairway Pizza.
Palm Harbor’s Suncoast Animal League received a very special delivery on Saturday, when 20 dogs were flown from North Carolina and South Carolina to Tampa in order to find their new fur-ever homes as part of a Pilots N Paws rescue event.
Pilots N Paws, founded in 2008, uses private pilots to provide free transportion to help connect animals in need with organizations that can rescue, shelter or foster them.
Five small planes landed at Tampa Executive Airport on Saturday, delivering a total of 20 dogs ranging in age from 10 weeks to 9 years old. Breeds included Chihuahuas, poodles, Pomeranians, min pins, spaniel mixes and other small mix breeds.
After their long journey through the clouds, the dogs were delivered to Fairway Pizza & Sports Page Pub in Palm Harbor where they were prepped and made ready for adoption or foster care with the help of over 40 volunteers
Tammy Shackman, a Suncoast Animal League volunteer, said it was a rewarding experience to help out.
“They do such good things here,” Shackman said. “Our volunteers are awesome, and we just love being part of it.”
Dogs Get Special Attention, New Homes
Upon arrival Saturday, each dog received food and water, a bath, nail grinding, plus any medical attention necessary from assistant vet tech Sheena Pender, including a micro-chip, flea treatment, heart guard medication and deworming.
Six of the dogs flown in for Saturday's event already had loving homes waiting for them with people who had signed up for specific breeds on Suncoast Animal League's waiting list. One of them was Bingo, a four-month-old min pin mix set to be adopted by Kyle Adams and Shawn Rigney, who had plans to rename the dog after the Egyptian god Anubis.
“We can’t wait to finally get him," Rigney said. "We are very excited."
According to executive director Rick Chaboudy, all dogs who did not find their forever home or get fostered Saturday will return to Suncoast Animal League, and the search will continue.
A World Record Effort
This year’s event was part of the largest animal rescue flyway in world history, organizers said, with 115 pilots bringing more than 300 dogs from high-kill shelters to other rescue groups around the country to find loving homes.
“The desire to want to help and the amazing coordination between the pilots and the sending and receiving shelters makes this program so great,” said Chaboudy. “I don’t think most people have any idea the amount of time, work, teamwork and coordination it takes to pull something like this off. We are proud and honored to be part of this spectacular event.”
How You Can Help
An active member of the community, Suncoast Animal League organizes many events throughout the year, including a dog wash fundraiser every fourth
Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 3p.m. at Fairway Pizza.
Coming up, visit them at the Fifth Annual Dogtoberfest and Super Pet Adopt-a-Thon scheduled for Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Highlander Park in Dunedin. Bring the whole family including your pet and have a picture taken with Santa.