April 24, 2017 By: Gerry Arner
Pilot.Dog is a foundation I am proud to serve as a member of the Board of Directors, so I wanted to take some time to share more information about them and what they do, as I feel it is always important to shed light on an organization that help dogs live better, and more fulfilling lives.
Pilot.Dog was founded in 2015 by Steve and Pam Rhode. Steve and Pam are local to Wake Forest and use their 1974 Cessna 182 to transport and rescue dogs. Working in the pet industry, we have worked many pet relocation companies, and while many excel in logistical tactics, many lack in the compassion field. This is where Pilot.Dog comes in. Not only do they transport safely, but they do it with a great deal of empathy and care for the dog that is being transported. They are hands-on, and are the actual people who are on board flying the dog to a better life. Pam and Steve document their travels with each pup through social media, as well as listing their “flight stories” on their website, here: https://pilot.dog/flight-stories
Want to get involved, but aren’t sure how you can help? Pilot.Dog loves to have local volunteers come fly with them to provide emotional and caring support to dogs during flight. This volunteer role, known as the “Inflight Companion Volunteer” is just that, provides companionship through TLC during the flight itself, which helps to reduce the stress to the dog during the journey. To learn more about this role, visit https://pilot.dog/volunteer
Most importantly, like many non-profits, one of the biggest challenges is fundraising. You can donate to help support these flight ops for pets to live better lives. Steve shared an example of the type of funding they are looking at each flight. A flight to and from NYC can be extremely expensive. Steve and Pam can fly a dog there, but fuel prices in that area are $7.20/gallon and they would need 60 gallons. The expenses add up. If you are a business owner and want to help, Pilot.Dog has donation boxes that can be placed for patrons of your business to drop donations in…every little bit helps! You can learn more about donating to help Pilot.Dog here: https://pilot.dog/donate