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About Us

Dog Is My CoPilot is a 501(c)3 that transports at-risk animals from overcrowded shelters to adoption centers in other geographic regions where loving families are waiting. Peter E. Rork, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and lifelong pilot, co-founded the organization in 2012 with the goal of saving as many animal lives as possible. We work collaboratively with city shelters, local animal welfare organizations and individuals in fifteen western states to coordinate transports. We provide our air services at no cost to the shelters and adoption centers with whom we partner. Since our inception, we have helped save the lives of over 16,500 dogs and cats with our transport flights.

Our Story

Every year in the US, approximately 733,000 shelter pets are euthanized because there is no room for them in municipal shelters. We are working to reduce euthanasia rates by transporting animals from overcrowded shelters to adoption centers in other communities where loving homes are waiting to adopt the animals.

We fly as many animals as possible in a single flight to maximize efficiency and do not charge partner organizations for our transport services. As opposed to long-distance ground transportation or the red tape of commercial flights, transporting animals by plane is efficient and affordable — just $100 per animal, per flight.

Since its founding, we have grown from saving a few hundred lives a year to more than 5,000 annually. Our success is due supporters like you and our dedicated team of shelters, adoption centers, and volunteers.

Our Story

Every year in the US, approximately 733,000 shelter pets are euthanized because there is no room for them in municipal shelters. We are working to reduce euthanasia rates by transporting animals from overcrowded shelters to adoption centers in other communities where loving homes are waiting to adopt the animals.

We fly as many animals as possible in a single flight to maximize efficiency and do not charge partner organizations for our transport services. As opposed to long-distance ground transportation or the red tape of commercial flights, transporting animals by plane is efficient and affordable — just $100 per animal, per flight.

Since its founding, we have grown from saving a few hundred lives a year to more than 5,000 annually. Our success is due supporters like you and our dedicated team of shelters, adoption centers, and volunteers.

Where We Fly

Throughout the year, Dog Is My CoPilot flies animals to safety from overcrowded shelters to adoption centers in other parts of our country. We fly from overcrowded shelters, primarily in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California to destination animal adoption organizations located primarily in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming

With the support of the Petco Foundation, we have been increasing our flights to Texas where long distance ground transportation is challenging and stressful for the animals.

Our History

Dr. Peter Rork started flying lessons when he was 12, earned his pilot’s license when he was 16, and took his first solo flight on May 15, 1969. Years later, his plane filled up when Peter began flying 20-30 pets for animal rescue organizations in his Cessna 206H “Stationair.” After his wife died in 2012, he teamed up with Judy Zimet, a Scottsdale real estate attorney and animal lover, to start an organization that combined their shared passion for animals and charity with Peter’s passion for flying. Dog Is My CoPilot soon became a victim of its own success and DIMC acquired a larger Cessna 208B Grand Caravan — aka “Big Dog” — that was retrofitted from a 12-passenger plane to one that can carry up to 251 animals in crates, from the smallest kittens and Chihuahuas to much larger dogs. With a 675HP turbine engine up front, Peter says there is more than enough power to fly rescued dogs and cats to their new homes and meet demand for DIMC’s services. And, there is plenty more room in the cockpit, he says. Amazingly, while it seems chaotic with lots of barking and scrambling on the ground, Peter says it’s very peaceful once he starts the engine and taxis down the runway. It’s as if the dogs know they’re on a flight to freedom. It’s as if the dogs truly are his co-pilots.

Our History

Dr. Peter Rork started flying lessons when he was 12, earned his pilot’s license when he was 16, and took his first solo flight on May 15, 1969. Years later, his plane filled up when Peter began flying 20-30 pets for animal rescue organizations in his Cessna 206H “Stationair.” After his wife died in 2012, he teamed up with Judy Zimet, a Scottsdale real estate attorney and animal lover, to start an organization that combined their shared passion for animals and charity with Peter’s passion for flying. Dog Is My CoPilot soon became a victim of its own success and DIMC acquired a larger Cessna 208B Grand Caravan — aka “Big Dog” — that was retrofitted from a 12-passenger plane to one that can carry up to 251 animals in crates, from the smallest kittens and Chihuahuas to much larger dogs. With a 675HP turbine engine up front, Peter says there is more than enough power to fly rescued dogs and cats to their new homes and meet demand for DIMC’s services. And, there is plenty more room in the cockpit, he says. Amazingly, while it seems chaotic with lots of barking and scrambling on the ground, Peter says it’s very peaceful once he starts the engine and taxis down the runway. It’s as if the dogs know they’re on a flight to freedom. It’s as if the dogs truly are his co-pilots.

Vision

We reduce animal euthanasia in overcrowded shelters by ensuring that each pet has the chance to find a safe and loving home.

Imagine a world without euthanasia, a world where every animal has a home, where shelters don’t suffer overcrowding and where healthy animals don’t face euthanasia. That world is DIMC’s vision but until it becomes a reality, DIMC will work tirelessly to save as many dogs and cats as possible from euthanasia. As DIMC Founder Dr. Peter Rork says, “For every animal that’s in a shelter, there is a human responsible. This is not a dog problem but a people problem.”

As long as shelter overcrowding remains a reality, DIMC will maintain its vision of helping animals find safe, loving homes — one flight at a time.