More than 40 pilots will team up with Pilots N Paws on Sept. 17 to transport 150 to 200 animals to new homes in five states. The event will commence at Florence Regional Airport, and dogs that have been removed from local animal shelters will be flown to rescue groups and permanent homes in Washington, D.C., Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Georgia.
The event is dedicated to the "Chesterfield 22"—22 dogs that were allegedly shot to death by animal control officers in Chesterfield, S.C., in March. Shelter volunteers said that the animals were shot rather than euthanized through approved, humane methods. The four employees were discharged. The Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office turned over control of the shelter to the county in August.
This is the third annual fall event for the group, which connects pilots who would like to donate airplanes, time, and fuel to transport animals to rescue groups. Volunteers at the September 2010 event, held in New Orleans, La., transported 171 animals that had been displaced by the Gulf Coast oil spill.
Pilots N Paws currently has more than 2,000 volunteer pilots registered on its website, as well as more than 7,000 shelters and rescues. View an AOPA Live interview with a Pilots N Paws volunteer pilot at this year’s EAA AirVenture.