lifesaving year

As we look back on a difficult but rewarding year, seeing the smile and joy in families all over the country is our reminder of why we provide critical transportation services to overcrowded animal shelters.

Working alongside our incredible teams of rescue and shelter partners, we saved over 3,500 lives together, but that’s not it!  Your dedication to helping shelter pets supported growth that will forever mean more life-saving.  In 2020, we had four volunteer pilots that completed 55 rescue flights.  In 2021, we will be doubling the number of volunteer pilots. With these additional pilots, we will be expanding the number of flights we can offer to our current partners, while also answering the needs of new shelter and rescue partners. We will be able to reach even more at risk animals and fly them to their forever homes!

Thank you for being part of our biggest year yet.  To celebrate, we want to share a few stories and pictures of the animals that have found homes in 2020, thanks to you!

“Pancake has brought such an intense joy into our lives. She loves snuggling in bed in the morning, playing with her favorite animal toys and learning new things – like she can eat snow! We feel so incredibly lucky to have her in our lives and can’t wait to teach her new things and explore more of this magical place we live. Thank you so much to Dog is My CoPliot for the incredibly important work you do!”

 Percy is so smart, I’ve kept up on his prison program training.  I’m a physical therapist so he gets the best care along with grain free food, supplements, and yummy treats. He’s the biggest baby/cuddle bug!  I lost my other rescue in June, I wasn’t ready to love again but when I saw his photos I know he was the one! Thank you for my best friends ever!

 

From Fospice pup to cherished family member, Lex flew straight into our hearts aboard Dog Is My CoPilot on 6/6/20.  Thanks to them, Humane Society of North Texas, and Green Heart Rescue, we got to spend the last four months of this beautiful soul’s  life with him.  Sadly, Lex crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 10/8/20

 

Cece joined our family in August and has already turned into quite the adventure dog! We go on daily walks in the canyon behind our house, and we’re slowly working our way up to longer hikes in the mountains around Sun Valley, Idaho. When not exploring with her nose to the ground, Cece is training in obedience, going on puppy play dates, learning basic agility moves, and perfecting her snuggling techniques. She loves camping and car rides, and while she’s not 100% on board with snow yet, we’re confident that this Texas pup will learn to love the winter, too.

 

It is honestly hard to put into words just how much we love Luther. We adopted Luther about four months ago from the Animal Adoption Center in Jackson, WY, and even though it was over a four hour drive each way from our home in Livingston, MT, there was something about Luther in his photos that we just knew he would be worth the trip. He spent nearly the whole drive home curled up in my lap and has enhanced our happiness to an inexplicable degree ever since. We are an active couple who love to be outdoors and Luther is game for any adventure. He has climbed up mountains, hiked across the Beartooth Wilderness, kayaked the Yellowstone River and is a great buddy for runs and bike rides. We love to see how happy he is outside; bounding along a trail like a deer, barrelling through a foot of snow, and sprinting back and forth just for the fun of it. We also love a good slow morning or evenings by the woodstove and man can this dog cuddle. He will contort himself into any position to fit by your side, sometimes collapsing in what looks like a pretzel, or seemingly comfortable draped over knees or ankles, or falling over backwards to land in your lap. Luther came to us knowing some commands but is so intelligent and eager to please that he picks up on new ones within a few tries and listens well off leash. We often wonder what Luther’s story was starting out in Abilene,Texas, but we are so glad that Dog Is My Copilot flew him out to Wyoming and the Animal Adoption Center so that we could find the most amazing dog. Multiple times a day we audibly tell Luther how great he is and how lucky we are to have him. While we are mostly sure he does not understand the words, we know he feels the sentiment.

~Cayley and Allen Livingston, MT

 We treasure our current animals and welcoming someone new was a long process with lots of worry about he/she accept out pets or be scared/distant.  Momo-Chan (little peach) in Japanese has made our life complete and everyone loves her!

 

 

 

 MURRAY loves Olive and Louie and they love him!  He is eating like a monster, such a sweet boy, and we’re falling more in love with him every day. Murray is but one example of the way you save lives and we are examples of the lives that you enrich. Thank you!

Puppies

The ultimate goal in the animal welfare industry is to keep people and pets together, but sometimes assistance is needed to make this happen. Many times, Animal Humane Officers are put into difficult situations when they find animals that need extra care and attention. And as animal lovers, they are able to make powerful decisions that can change the trajectory of the animals in their city. This is one of those stories.

A big heart

Myrna De La Torre is an animal humane officer for Animal Services in El Paso, Texas. She was driving around during her regular animal welfare checks and came across an owner that had two adult dogs that accidentally had a litter of ten puppies.  While this owner loved their dogs, they did not have the resources to care for the new family.  When Officer De La Torre arrived, four of the puppies had already died of malnutrition and she realized something had to change quickly. 

Officer sprang to action

Officer De La Torre immediately provided the owner with food and told them she would be back the next day. By the time De La Torre returned to the house the next day, only three puppies were alive.  The owner allowed Officer De La Torre to take the remaining puppies to El Paso Animal Services where they could receive immediate medical attention. Officer De La Torre helped the owner spay and neuter the adult dogs to ensure that the parents would not have puppies again and left them with food.   

Big Dog to the Rescue!

Early this winter, the three adorable pups made the journey on the “Big Dog” with Dog Is My CoPilot to Jackson Hole, Wyoming thanks to our partners El Paso Animal Services and Animal Adoption Center. After a very tumultuous start to their lives, the three puppies have all found forever homes! 

The Puppies Find New Life in Wyoming!

There is so much we all have to say about 2020 – in some ways it was kinder than other years – with the pressures of social life and travel gone, we have all enjoyed more of our own meals and focusing on the relationships closest to us. In other ways, it has been one of the hardest and strangest years – full of heartaches for the state of our country and our world. We are still incredibly grateful 2020 still brought us many blessings, Justin and I got married and settled into our new home in Jackson Hole. We were missing one thing to make it complete. Pancake has brought such an intense joy into our lives. She loves snuggling in bed in the morning, playing with her favorite animal toys and learning new things – like she can eat snow! We feel so incredibly lucky to have her in our lives and can’t wait to teach her new things and explore more of this magical place we live. Thank you so much to Dog is My CoPliot for the incredibly important work you do!

 

El Paso Animal Services

Dog Is My CoPilot is fortunate to have partners like the El Paso Animal Services and the Animal Control Officers that work with them in El Paso, Texas.  These rescue organizations and support staff have a thankless job where the number of stray animals outnumber the available adoptable homes.  Partnerships like this provide inspiration, and remind us what collaboration can accomplish in each of our own communities!  El Paso Animal Services are changing the lives of animals and their owners in their community.  “We are no longer just a shelter. We’re here to provide pet resources that go beyond the shelter walls,” said Ramon Herrara of the El Paso Animal Services.

Give Thanks at Year End

We are looking forward to flying into the new year and saving thousands of more lives together! Please join us in making 2021 just as meaningful and impactful as 2020 has been.  Your support goes straight to work, allowing us to transport pets so they can find forever homes.

 

 

Time to celebrate! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Thank you for your passion, your dedication, your generosity, and kindness. We are blown away from the generosity and outpouring of support on Giving Tuesday.  Your incredible acts of kindness will help hundreds of pets find their way home!

With the help of Lulu’s Fund, this year we were able to double the first $10,000 of your donations  💖Lulu went to the Rainbow Bridge on June 28, 2019.  Tim and Sandy are deeply grateful for the 15 years of great joy, happiness and abundant love they shared with this little pug, who will forever be known as “their puppy”.  Lulu was a much beloved member of the Day family, and through Lulu’s Fund they provide assistance to many dogs in need – and help them find their very own loving families.  We can’t thank the Timothy T. Day Foundation enough for their support of our GivingTuesday matching campaign in honor of Lulu’s life. 

All of the money we raised during GivingTuesday will help us save more dogs like Riley. 

Riley was on a recent Dog Is My CoPilot rescue flight and it has not taken her very long to find the perfect snuggle spot on every couch in her new forever home. She’s even made friends with the cats already part of her new family.  Riley has found her happy place on hikes, in the dog park or chasing rabbits outside.  

Riley she is JOYFUL, loyal, loving, snuggly.  She hikes or goes to the dog park every weekend, leaping into the car with enthusiasm when time to go. She has her “spot” on every couch in the house and still loves snuggling every second she gets. She and the kids are best buddies. Still loves to chase rabbits and protective in our home (if someone comes over, very rare during Covid, we’ve learned if we introduce her outside first then she’s fine). She and the cats peacefully co-exist, even sharing the couch nicely 🙂 She is healthy, happy, full of life and I am grateful every day for her ❤️❤️

     

We are eternally grateful for everyone that contributed on GivingTuesday. Thank you 💖 

Lightspeed Headset Supports Our Team

Rescuing dogs and cats is a logistical challenge. Of course, there are obstacles with coordinating the relocation of animals between shelters and rescue partners.  But once the animals are in the sky, most of the time they are calm, and sleeping for their journey north. This is when Peter the Pilot takes over in the adventure and where Lightspeed helps us on our life saving flights. 

Headset for the Big Dog

Recently, Dog Is My CoPilot received a headset from Lightspeed Aviation. This company builds high quality aviation headsets for pilots.  Since their inception in 1996, Lightspeed has been the leader in wearable ANR technology headsets. They’re based in Lake Oswego Oregon, outside Portland, and we have delivered many animals to partners in their vicinity and their high quality communication devices have helped us with these flights. 

Peter Flies Alone

Once the rescued dogs and cats are loaded into the plane, Peter likes to quickly get off the ground and head to the next destination.  We often fly to multiple destinations in one day and Pilot Peter prefers to spend as little time on the ground as possible. During the flight, it is very important that our flight team be in constant contact with the various flight towers across the flight plan.  As Peter said, “This is an essential part of our equipment for the pilots who volunteer their time to Dog Is My CoPilot.”  We’re incredibly fortunate to have 3 volunteer pilots that donate their time to fly the Big Dog to our rescue partners.  Lightspeed headsets, and all of our modern aviation equipment, makes each and every flight that much easier and safer. 

 

 

 

Thanks to you they are home

Despite being a challenging year, 2020 has us thankful for our community of animal lovers. This year, even with delays and schedule changes from COVID, we flew more flights than ever and formed new partnerships with shelters across southern Texas. We can’t thank you enough for your support during these challenging times.

You’ll love seeing the smile on the faces of these lucky pups that have found a forever home after their rescue flight.

                  

Charlotte comfy in her new home!           Percy loving the outdoors and snuggling! 

     

Lucinda is living the good life.                Francis is looking cute in this whiskey box!

               

Would you like to give a dog or cat a second chance at life?  Check out our Adoption page to find an animal in your area who needs a forever home.  

 

 

Old Bill’s Takes Flight Again!

In 2020, we knew that the Old Bill’s Fun Run was going to be different than it has been in the past. That said, there was no way to know how our community would respond since the actual run and celebration was all virtual. We are beyond excited by the support of the community, not only for Dog Is My CoPilot, but for all the non-profits taking part in this amazing event ❤️ 

By the Numbers

Old Bill’s Fun Run in 2020 generated over 24,000 gifts from 4,349 donors, totaling $15,314,287 of donations, which represents an increase of 7% over last year. The match pool, created with gifts from Mr. & Mrs. Old Bill, Co-Challengers and Friends, totaled $3,500,245, while participating organizations received $11,814,041 in gifts designated specifically for them. 

Supporting Our Home Base

Donations from Old Bill’s allow us to fly rescue dogs like Abby from Abilene, Texas to Jackson Hole.  She was fostered by a local family through the Animal Adoption Center (AAC), and they fell in love with her bravery and sweet nature. Abby is estimated to be middle-aged and came with some health issues, but she quickly adapted and was made a permanent member of the family four days after she arrived. “We are so thankful to Dog Is My CoPilot and are happy to support their efforts to find loving homes for so many at-risk pets”, said Michele Pacifico and John Martin of Jackson, WY, Abby’s new parents. We hope Abby loves her first snowy winter! 

 

Our partners

We have amazing partners in Teton County, Wyoming who are also supported through Old Bill’s Fun Run. The Animal Adoption Center has been busy finding homes for hundreds of dogs and cats over the past several months as demand has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the newly adopted animals have arrived on the “Big Dog” and you’ll see them around town with their new families! PAWS of Jackson and the Teton County Animal Shelter have also been incredible supporters of Dog Is My CoPilot and welcomed many more dogs into their program where they found homes here in Teton County.

THANK YOU!

Dog Is My CoPilot is so thankful to our local community and all those that donated through the Old Bill’s Fun Run.  We are eternally grateful to be a part of this community and would not be able to rescue over 17,000 animals without the generous support of our everyone at home base. Thank you!

 

Paws & Think

PAWS and THINK!® Supports DIMC

When we fly an animal to a new family, we’re always reminded about the influence dogs have in our lives.  Miranda Mittleman was inspired by her four legged friend and turned her passion for animals into a series of children’s books.  

Miranda’s Inspiration

Miranda Mittleman grew up in Baltimore, Maryland where she developed her love for poetry and can recite many poems from her childhood by heart. After graduating college and meeting her husband, Miranda adopted a mutt named Weaver through an amazing rescue organization called We Rescue Love, Inc. While living in Baltimore, Miranda was inspired to write the PAWS and THINK!® children’s series after all the adventures she was having with her new adopted dog.

PAWS and THINK!®

The book series is about the lessons we learn from our animal companions. Each story describes an experience from when Weaver was a young pup and describes important life lessons to Miranda’s young readers The stories cover sportsmanship, thankfulness, being different, and self-importance. The books are light hearted, well illustrated, and relatable for any child interested in learning and growing. 

DIMC: Charity of the Quarter

We are excited to be named the PAWS and THINK!® Charity of the Quarter.  Every quarter, Miranda donates a portion of her book sales to a different organization helping those in need.  During the fourth quarter of 2020, Dog Is My CoPilot will be that recipient.  Check out all 4 books in the PAWS and THINK!® series and help support DIMC. This is the perfect time of year to give a gift that supports Dog Is My CoPilot and a book that encourages our young people to grow into better people.

 

A New Partnership with Wondercide

Dog Is My CoPilot is thrilled to announce our new partnership with Wondercide.  Austin-based Wondercide, the leader in safe & effective, plant-based pest protection for pets, people, and homes, is teaming up with Dog is My CoPilot and has committed to sponsoring our first flight in 2021! Wondercide products are not harmful to the environment, are not tested on animals, and are sourced in the United States.  All that, and Wondercide still provides lasting protection. 

A percentage of proceeds from the Wondercide holiday sampler box, featuring a set of four trial sizes of their signature Flea & Tick Pets + Home will benefit the Dog Is My CoPilot 2021 flight. The sampler box will be available for sale online starting as of October 26, 2020 through the end of the year.

Wondercide’s beginnings

Wondercide was created in 2009 with grit, perseverance, and intuition by Stephanie Boone.  At the time, her dog Luna was suffering from the negative effects of pesticide poisoning. After years of traditional treatments on Luna’s skin and pesticides in Stephanie’s yard, Luna’s body began giving out.  Although many vets told Stephanie that this should be the end of Luna’s life, Stephanie decided that Luna’s prognosis was not the end of the story. Stephanie wanted to find a way to not only help her own dog, but families across the United States.

Wondercide product lines

Fast forward to today and Wondercide is a growing company with products for all facets of our daily lives. They have a full line of products that will protect your dog or cat both inside the house and outdoors. Wondercide offers sprays, shampoos, wipes and skin care for all your furry friends. They also provide products for your family, with repellents for your personal protection in your yard and even for indoor surfaces. Their products’ natural ingredients are not harmful to the environment or the people and animals that use them.  

Gift Box to support the first 2021 flight

Wondercide has created a gift box for the 2020 Holiday Season that supports Dog Is My CoPilot.  For $9.99, a sampler box not only gives back to a worthy cause, but makes a great holiday gift for pet lovers! Gift mini bottles of Wondercide’s superstar product in Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Rosemary and Peppermint. Flea & Tick for Pets + Home protects against harmful bugs and keeps them away for good. This aromatherapeutic product keeps pets safe and rids the home of pesky critters. If fleas & ticks aren’t your problem, gift a sampler box of Insect Repellent or Indoor Pest Control and still give back to Dog Is My CoPilot.

Thanks to the generosity of companies like Wondercide and donors like you, we have been able to rescue over 16,500 animals and look forward to saving more lives in 2021!

A special note from the CEO of Wondercide

“When you love someone, you do everything in your power to protect them. I thought I was keeping my family safe by using common products to protect us from bugs like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, but when my dog Luna suffered devastating side effects from flea-and-tick meds and pest control services, I knew there had to be a better way. So I quit my job and founded Wondercide. Our safe, effective products replace the need for nasty chemicals that can harm us,” said Stephanie Boone, founder and CEO of Wondercide. “This partnership with Dog Is MyCoPilot gives us the opportunity to help hundreds of lovable pets find their forever families. Luna’s legacy lives on thanks to our incredible community that stands behind our products and inspiring organizations like Dog is my CoPilot who are doing so much good in this world.”

 

Paralyzed Dog with a Big Heart

Dog Is My CoPilot gives second chances to rescue animals all over the Southwest.  Many of these animals are in good health, but just don’t have a place to call home.  Sometimes, we transport animals like Ellie, that will need extra support,  and a little extra time to find the right forever home.

Green Heart Rescue and a second chance for Ellie

Senior dogs and animals with special needs require extra support and a special touch when our partners are trying to find each one a new family.Green Heart Rescue provides second chances to dogs with special needs, which includes senior dogs which often make up a higher percentage of animals in shelters.  By focusing on dogs that may be overlooked in shelters, Green Heart Rescue is saving dogs that are not normally so lucky.

Ellie teaches us as much as we teach her

Ellie is one of those dogs with special needs that Green Heart Rescue is focused on saving.  Ellie is paralyzed in her rear legs which means she needs to use a dog wheelchair.  Although the wheelchair creates extra steps and adds challenges for her caregivers, she still has a high quality of life and has much to offer a family.

“She’s living her best life with us, where she’ll always know what it means to be a dog, even though she’s paralyzed…to explore the world, to know love from a human and to enjoy the rest of her life in happiness,” said Shannon Benecke, Founder & Director on Green Heart Rescue.  “Ellie is teaching everyone she meets, that physical limitations do not mean that you need to have a limited life.”

 

Our Partners make animal rescue work

Dog Is My CoPilot is proud of our partners that are able to provide second chances to animals with special needs or medical issues.  Dog Is My CoPilot provides transportation for these rescue animals, but without the support of organizations like Green Heart Rescue, we would not be able to transport animals like Ellie.  As we are about to enter the holiday giving season, please consider making a donation to your local animal adoption center or help us to fly more animals to safety with a  tax-deductible donation to Dog Is My Copilot.

 

Dog Is My CoPilot on Ruff Talk

On October 9th, Dr. Peter Rork and Kara Pollard were asked to join Ruff Talk.  This Facebook live event was created by Victoria Stillwell who hosts a nationally recognized TV show called “It’s ME or the DOG.”  In this series, Victoria shares different stories of families who are struggling with a misbehaving dog. Victoria helps the families determine why their dog is acting inappropriately.  She then works with each family by sharing tips and tricks to help reduce their dogs troublesome behavior. Since the pandemic hit in March, Victoria has also been hosting a weekly online show called Ruff Talk.

Ruff Talk, a fun filled hour for every animal lover

Ruff Talk is a weekly 30-45 minute Facebook Live conversation every Friday, where dog behavior expert Victoria Stilwell, Heather Paul from State Farm, Hero therapy dog Aladdin (with his fur mom, Michele), and Larissa Wohl from Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” bring a dose of fun into your home with celebrity guests and their pets. They talk about pet news, pet peeves, and pet advice, all with a heavy dose of humor.

Dog Is My CoPilot is working on expansion

Kara, the Executive Director of DIMC, and Pilot Peter joined Ruff Talk to discuss Dog Is My CoPilot’s mission and all the logistics that it takes to plan all the rescue flights with their partners across the West.

As we shared in the video above, many of our shelter partners are able to care for more animals because they know Pilot Peter and his flight team will arrive every month and help find new loving homes for up to 80 dogs and cats. 

Adopt! Volunteer! Foster! Donate!

As we approach the holiday season, don’t forget a wonderful point made in the video about adopting an animal from a shelter; when a dog is adopted from a rescue or adoption center, two dogs are actually saved.  The one that is brought home, and the one that takes its place at the shelter.  Pilot Peter provided us with a great reminder that even if you are not able to adopt an animal or make a financial commitment, fostering an animal or volunteering at a shelter can also support animal adoption centers across the US.  

Thank you

Thank you to Victoria Stillwell, Heather Paul and Michele Schaffer-Stevens for inviting our flight team to Ruff Talk. We welcome the Ruff Talk fans to our community and hope that you’ll join us on the next rescue flight. With the help of everyone in our community, Dog Is My CoPilot has rescued close to 17,000 animals in the last 8 years and over 50 rescue flights in 2020 alone!