Rescue updates for a smile

The ever evolving news stories about the coronavirus has made it hard to find the small joys in the world. Did you know that animal shelters have been impacted from the changes in our society? Since many states and cities have issued stay at home ordinances, the shelters are seeing fewer visitors, fewer volunteers and fewer adoptions. But they are still working tirelessly to get animals to forever homes. If you’re considering adopting a new pet, our partner adoption centers are trying to find homes for a growing surplus of animals of all shapes and sizes.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiring news, check out the stories below about our passengers that have found a new loving forever home.

Buster’s new digs!

Buster was found on the side of the road in New Mexico after being hit by a car. Two good samaritans took him to the vet not knowing if he would survive the night. After a rough patch Buster has found a family and is thriving!

Buster truly is a gentle giant. At 70lbs of love, he thinks he is a lap dog. Totally unaware of his size, Buster will plop himself on your lap at any time to make himself comfortable. He is also always in the mood for some scratches and cuddles. From daily nightly walks, being cozy at the foot of the couch, to anxiously awaiting kids from their day at school, Buster is at home.


Archibald finds a family 💙

Sometimes it is just meant to be. When Archibald (formally Duke Kaboom) found his family, they were a little apprehensive. Two thirds of the humans had never had a dog before and it was essential to find a dog that had the perfect personality and temperament. Enter the sweetheart goofball, Archibald Jones!  Archibald flew on the Big Dog and landed with our awesome partners One Tail at a Time PDX and found his family soon after!


Although Archibald comes from the warmer climate of El Paso, TX, he has really adapted to the rainy winter days of Portland, OR. He enjoys the smells and sights of the neighborhood, picking treats at the local pet store, and even the family cat! Archi is an active pet but is learning through rewards and practicing manners training. Watching Archi come out of his shell and bond with his new family has been a delight. Archibald is family.

“As our first family dog, (and the first dog ever for 2/3 of the humans in the family) it was essential that found a dog with the perfect personality and temperament to compliment us. Enter the sweetheart goofball, Archibald Jones (formally Duke Kaboom) who couldn’t be a better fit.

When he’s not enjoying the deep relaxation of “his” couch, Archi can be found taking in the sights and smells of our neighborhood, getting pets and choosing treats at the local pet store, along with playing with his many toys. He’s not spoiled though. Archi earns his rewards by actively participating in manners training, learning to cohabitate with one grouchy house cat, and being the absolute best boy.

The cold and rainy Portland winter days have taken some getting used to for all of us, particularly our pupper from El Paso, but the joy of watching Archi come out of his shell and bond with everyone in the family, (yes, even the cat a little bit) has warmed our hearts.

Our family will forever be thankful to OTAT PDX and Dog is My CoPilot for all the work they do to help wonderful dogs find their forever family. ”


Colleen, Ryan and Violet (caregivers of Dippers and Archibald Jones)

You can make a forever home!

We hope that by sharing these stories of love during a time of crisis, others will be inspired to help shelter animals just like Buster and Archibald. Animal shelters across our nation are making the hard decision to close their doors to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s work together to ensure animals in shelters across our nation are safe. To find a shelter or rescue near you, visit this page.

Captain love changes everything

Captain is Headin’ Home

The Petco Foundation believes ‘Love Changes Everything’, and we couldn’t agree more. And for Captain, love truly did change his life.

It all started with our awesome life saving rescue partners, San Antonio Pets Alive! When Captain arrived in their care, he had heartworm and an abdominal mass. After seven months in their care, the team at San Antonio Pets Alive knew that Captain would be a great candidate for Headin’ Home, their rescue dog transport program.  Headin’ Home transports dogs to rescue partners in northern states where there is a short supply of adoptable rescue dogs. Unfortunately Texas, like many states, have animal shelters that are entirely full of adoptable animals and not enough homes.

Dog Is My CoPilot Helps Captain head home

Thanks to our amazing partnership with San Antonio Pets Alive, Petco Foundation and our receiving partner organizations; we flew a plane full of dogs to rescue partners in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Captain was one of the 38 passengers on this flight.  Be sure to watch the video below of the live footage of his rescue flight!

This trip was made possible through the tireless work of San Antonio Pets Alive! and the amazing partnership between Petco Foundation and Dog Is My CoPilot. We are very grateful to the Petco Foundation for their dedication and financial support to help make life saving transport flights with Dog Is My CoPilot possible!

It was only a few days after landing with Paws for Life Utah in Salt Lake City Utah that Captain caught the eye of his future moms!

After losing two dogs in recent months, Sherry and Cindy were apprehensive about bringing in another dog to their lives without projecting their sadness on this new four legged friend.  Although it took Captain a little while to get used to his new surroundings, he has found his tribe and a safe place. Captain has found his own space on the couch, is eating (many) treats, and has even started to regrow some whiskers! Finally in true Captain form, he has found his rightful place in shotgun while riding in the car. “It’s appropriate that he’s named Captain, he’s our hero,” said Sherry about their new family member!

A special message from Sherry and Cindy

When Captain got our attention on social media, it was his eyes that hooked both of us, but it was his name that made it clear he was destined to come to us — I’m a die-hard Marvel fan, having renamed our last rescue Bucky — there’s no question this was meant to be.

Bringing Captain home was an emotional decision after losing two dogs between June and September to old-age and cancer respectively. We didn’t want to have unreasonable expectations. Even if we were bringing him in to fill a “brother shaped” hole for our surviving pit bull, Bucky, he wasn’t there to replace them. I was concerned about projecting undue expectations on him, but that was an unfounded worry.

Cap was understandably aloof when he first came home, he took to the space, the application of treats, bones, and a schedule before he committed to any of us. It wasn’t long, though, before he stopped laying so far across the room from us.

The best times are when Cap chooses to snuggle up to Bucky, or to Cindy, or to me, sometimes all at once on the sofa like he is right now. It’s heartwarming to watch him settle into his personality and seeing his fur growing back after his flea infestation and his tumor removal surgery (back when he was being cared for by SAPA). He has little baby whiskers! Those were either missing or as short as his fur when we brought him home. Now they’re about an inch long! His elbows are still naked and leathery looking, but the crusted calluses are now soft skin. The fur on his tail is still a hot mess, but tiny tufts have been spotted!

Cap is the clown in our family.

It took little time at all to fall head over heels for him, he’s become so much a part of us that I almost can’t remember what it was like when there was no Captain snoring in the night like a buzzsaw. Unlike human snoring, this little gas machine has the most soothing snores. If he’s asleep and not snoring I often think I should check to see if he’s breathing!

His consistent, loving nature have helped bolster our moods, soften our losses, and has given Bucky a brother again. Bucky’s even started riding shotgun alongside Cap, a place in the car he just never had a desire to inhabit. It’s appropriate that he’s named Captain, he’s our hero.


Sherry and Cindy


We are all in this together, let’s help shelter animals today!

We hope that by sharing this story of love during a time of crisis, others will be inspired to help shelter animals just like Captain.  Animal shelters across our nation are making the hard decision to close their doors to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s work together to ensure animals in shelters across our nation are safe.   Now is the time to help our shelters—adopt or foster a pet.  Find a shelter or rescue near you:


Coronavirus animal shelters and our pets

Dog Is My CoPilot hopes to reassure people with pets that, as far as experts know, your dogs and cats are safe and can serve as a source of comfort during a crisis.

Multiple health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and the American Veterinary Medical Association have stated that pets and domestic animals are not at risk for contracting COVID-19.

  • The real threat at this point is animal shelters across the country facing an increase of dogs and cats in need of homes because fewer people are visiting shelters right now, and in some cases shelters are having to temporarily close to the public.
  • It’s beneficial to have pets in your house as they can serve as a source of comfort.
  • The companionship of pets has been shown to reduce stress and lower anxiety, helping people to feel calmer and more secure when the news from the outside world is distressing.

If you don’t have a pet and are thinking about getting one, now is the perfect time to “try it on” by fostering. Please contact our local shelter to inquire about fostering!

  • Check out this article from the HuffPost: Animal Shelters call for people to foster pets amid Coronavirus Pandemic
  • Animal shelters and rescues are bracing themselves for the possibility of increased intake, fewer adoptions and fewer foster homes, and the possibility of no space.
  • Individuals can reduce the impact on our local shelters by reaching out to foster or donate to support the animals in our community.
  • Shelters and pet adoption facilities nationwide need people to foster pets on a temporary basis.
  • And people can also help by offering support to their neighbors who might need help caring for their pets.
  • Find a shelter or rescue near you:

“The future of pets in shelters is in the hands of each one of us. This is not the time to criticize our animal shelters, now is the time to help. We are all in this together and how we respond will determine their fate. Please foster and adopt with safe distance from others. Shelters are constantly modifying their policies to make it easier and safe.” said Susan Kogut President of the Petco Foundation

Check out Susan’s full story here!

People with pets should be prepared with enough food, water and medications for your pet, in case of lockdown or self-quarantine.

  • Have on hand at least a one-month supply of your pets’ medications, litter, and food.
  • Make sure your pets’ vaccination records are current and you have copies.
  • Consider the care of your pets as you put together your household readiness plan.

Rely on trusted and up-to-date sources for the latest information and recommendations.

  • We have compiled links to leading national animal welfare organizations that are providing the most up to date information on the response of COVID-19 you can learn more here:

Resources: for our rescue and shelter partners and our community 

Flying into the future

By making a gift to Dog Is My CoPilot through your will, trust or estate, you’ll be preventing needless euthanasia and helping us fly animals to loving forever homes. The information below is meant to provide a general overview and please contact us if you have any specific questions about how to add Dog Is My CoPilot into your estate. We would love to speak with you about how planned giving can help us fly animals to loving homes.

Ways to Give

Naming Dog Is My CoPilot in your Will or Trust is a simple way to support our animal rescue.

You can designate investment accounts, bank accounts, life insurance policies and other types of assets to Dog Is My CoPilot or any charity. Under current tax law, there is no upper limit on the estate tax deduction for your charitable bequests. Estate law can be complex and we suggest that you seek legal advice when creating a will or trust. The language below can be used as a point of reference if you’ve created your own will.

I give and devise to Dog Is My CoPilot (Tax ID: 45-5441984), located in Jackson, WY all (or state a percentage) of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to be used for its general support (or for the support of a specific fund or program).

If you decide to allocate your gift to a specific purpose, please check with our team to be sure that we can use your gift as you intend.

If you’ve already named Dog Is My CoPilot in your will or trust, please contact us so that we can express our deepest thanks.

Consider donating a portion of your retirement accounts to save on taxes today 

You can name or designate Dog Is My CoPilot as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), or other qualified retirement plan and allow the balance of your retirement assets to save even more animals in the future.

With this approach, you can continue to take regular lifetime withdrawals and you maintain flexibility to change beneficiaries if your family’s needs change during your lifetime. To give through a 401(k) or another type of retirement account, all you have to do is contact the financial institution that manages your retirement plan and designate a charity as the beneficiary.

You can also make donations through your retirement plan to any charity. Some people find that they are not in need of all of the funds in their retirement accounts. If you wish to give to charity, making a gift through your retirement account is often considered a tax efficient strategy. This costs nothing to setup, does not require a consultation with an attorney and gifts can often be processed with a quick phone call to your financial institution.

Life Insurance gifts will help Dog Is My CoPilot to continue flying animals home 

When you donate a life insurance policy, you’ll receive an income tax deduction equal to the value of the policy. You can either transfer ownership of a paid-up life insurance policy to Dog Is My CoPilot, which can be cashed in or held for future work, or you can designate Dog Is My CoPilot as the primary or contingent beneficiary, passing the value at the end of your lifetime.

Rewards of Planned Giving

You’ll receive satisfaction now when creating a plan for your future gift. Every gift, no matter how small, will help us fly animals to new families interested in adopting a pet. As you are considering a planned gift, please let us know of your intentions so we can thank you for your generosity.

If you have any specific questions about how you can make a difference for animals, please contact us.


Saving lives + protecting our pets with Pet Notify

We are thrilled to be partnering with our friends at Pet Notify who automatically call, email and text you when someone finds your lost pet.

To support Dog Is My CoPilot, Pet Notify will donate $10 for each Intellitag order using promo code DIMC. And, to help drive more donations, Pet Notify is giving up to 2 FREE Intellitags per household for a limited time! In addition, you will also receive pet safety lights, and 60 days risk free of Pet Notify Suite services and Intellitag monitoring (over $50 value)! 

Check it all out at Pet Notify and use code DIMC to try risk free and claim your special offer right away in support of Dog Is My CoPilot. Give your pets a voice when they need it the most with Pet Notify.

The technology enabled Intellitag will automatically call, email, and text you when your lost pet is found, with the pet rescuer’s name, contact, and location, simultaneously sending to your pet’s rescuer any information that you would want them to have, such additional contact phone numbers, addresses, emergency drop locations, medical, behavioral, pet sitter or foster info, etc.  And, if you don’t respond, the Intellitag automatically starts alerting your back-up network with texts and emails, making for a faster, more reliable reunion!  No more missed communications when time is of the essence.

The Pet Notify Suite offers important animal safety features, such as Pet Safety Alarms, Pet Task functions, and its Pet Vault, which offers pet document storage that is easily sharable.



P.S. In case you are wondering, Monty pictured above is looking for his forever home and you can find him at the Animal Adoption Center of Jackson, WY.  Call 307-739-1881 or email for more info!

Giving Tuesday: Love in Action

Join Our Giving Tuesday Celebration!

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. Will you join our Giving Tuesday celebration to help us fly animals to safety from overcrowded shelters?


In 2012, Dr. Rork began a lifesaving journey that turned into saving more than 13,000 dogs and cats by personally flying them from overcrowded shelters to adoption centers where they found LOVE and a HOME!

Please consider making a donation to Dog Is My CoPilot to celebrate #GivingTuesday.  With your support, we can reach our goal of raising $5,000 to fly even more animals to safety where they can find LOVE and a HOME they deserve!

This year, we are extra thankful for all the partnerships that make our lifesaving mission a reality — from our shelter and rescue partners to our volunteers, supporters and business partners, we rely on our community to help save animals in need. Equally special and exciting, we were recognized by the Petco Foundation as the recipients of the Love in Action Award. None of this would have happened without you — THANK YOU!

We hope you enjoy this heartwarming video produced by the Petco Foundation and Steven Latham Productions.




Love inspired CoPilot reunion

Thank you!

On this day of thanks, it is the perfect time to let you know how grateful we are to everyone who has touched the lives of Dog Is My CoPilot animals.  Because of you thousands of dogs and cats have found love and families of their own.

As a special way to thank you, we want to share heartwarming pictures of a few of the furry passengers that you have helped to save.  Recently, a special reunion was held in Polson Montana to celebrate the adoption stories of dozens of Dog Is My CoPilot passengers that found homes through Life Savers Animal Rescue.  Thanks to our amazing partners at New Beginnings For Merced County Animals  in Merced California, these dogs that were once at risk of being euthanized were given the chance to find love and special homes out West.

“We’re having a little reunion for all of the dogs that came to our rescue by way of Dog Is My CoPilot,” said Lynette Duford, President of Life Savers Animal Rescue.


One of the lucky “California Littles” being celebrated, is Trooper who had actually been hit by a car.  “We saw Trooper on Life Savers Animal Rescue webpage and he looked pitiful, he was all stapled up,” said Marcene Coburn, Troopers new mom, “and I thought, ‘I gotta have that dog’. We already had two labs but we just wanted to rescue him and give him a chance and he’s been the best thing that’s happened to us. He’s wonderful,” Coburn added.

Your kindness is is the reason why so many dogs and cats have received lifesaving second chances, THANK YOU!  We wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving.


photos by: Jim Ereaux

Dog Is My CoPilot receives national award

Tune in to the live broadcast on @PetcoFoundation’s Facebook page, November 14 at 5 PM PST!

Dog Is My CoPilot is being honored at the Petco Foundation Lifesaving Awards as the recipients of the Love in Action Award.  This award recognizes and celebrates an organization that put their love into action to save animals across the country.

“We are so honored to accept this incredible award from the Petco Foundation.  We are on a mission to save more lives and we couldn’t do it without the support of the Petco Foundation and from our incredible community,”  said Dr. Peter Rork, President and chief Pilot of Dog Is My CoPilot.

Tune in LIVE on the @PetcoFoundation Facebook page November 14 beginning at 5 PM PST to celebrate this achievement with us! Go to:

At the event, 500 pet-loving guests will come together to honor extraordinary animal welfare heroes, like those at Dog Is My CoPilot. Hosted by Nancy O’Dell, the awards will bring together some of the pet industry’s top brands to celebrate and recognize seven organizations and individuals from across the country for their dedication, determination and daily actions to create lifesaving impact for pets in need.

“The Petco Foundation’s Lifesaving Awards is a celebration of love that saves animal lives and represents our gratitude to animal welfare heroes who put their love into action every day,” said Susanne Kogut, president of the Petco Foundation. “We are excited this year to celebrate our 20-year history of saving lives and recognize and honor exemplary performance of these seven organizations and individuals whose dedication and commitment to solutions and achieving success creates a significant lifesaving impact.”

To learn more about the Petco Foundation and the Lifesaving Awards, visit:


Thank you Brody for being our flight sponsor!

The Big Dog is flying into action, and will be saving hundreds of dogs and cats on our upcoming rescue flights this Spring!  We have flights departing from overcrowded shelters in Northern California, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona in the next few weeks.  Our rescue flights provide communities that struggle with pet overpopulation with a fully funded transport service to rescue organizations that find each animal a home.

We would like to THANK our upcoming flight sponsor, Brody and his mom Mary Ann Cofrin!  This amazing duo has fully sponsored our flight allowing us to reach even more pets in need.  The Big Dog will be departing from Las Cruces, New Mexico and flying our furry passengers to rescue partners in Idaho.  If you would like to learn more about our awesome rescue partner organizations that will be participating on this special flight, please find them on the following social media pages: Uncaged Paws and Tails to Freedom Flights, Alpine Humane Society, El Paso Animal Services, Idaho Humane Society, and Mountain Humane.

We rely on the generous support from people like you to help fuel these rescue flights.  Join us on these first few flights in Spring by making a gift today— Your donation will fill up the fuel tanks and allow us to reach these animals to fly them to safety.  If you would like to learn more about sponsoring a full rescue flight please send a message to

Red will be one of our passengers and is packing his bag to board the Big Dog! Red is Pit Bull mix that loves everyone but has been overlooked by adopters in a rural Texas shelter.  By transporting him to one of our partner organizations in Idaho, he will have a second chance to find that perfect family!


Helping dogs like Red, and so many other dogs and cats, is only possible because of people like you! We want you to know that your gift today goes straight to saving animal lives— we receive restricted funding to cover our operational and administrative expense. Every dollar you give goes directly to animal transport, saving the lives of thousands of animals each year!


Rescue stories that will warm your heart

Thanks to you, this year we flew 2,741 dogs and cats to safety and also celebrated flying our 10,000th passenger! We are so incredibly grateful for the lifesaving work that people like you and our partners make possible throughout the year. 

This heartwarming video documents the arrival of a few very special passengers!  Sugar, Kona, Pico, and Ruthie were saved from an overcrowded animal shelter in San Antonio, Texas and were Pilot Peter’s CoPilots and flew all the way to Jackson, Wyoming where they finally got the second chance they deserved. Little did they know their lives would be changed forever the moment they touched ground—you can check out all the adventures that these pups are having now in the stories below! 


“It was truly love at first sight! Sugar was extremely timid and shut down when we first got her – she didn’t play, shedidn’t run, she was terrified of everything. Within 2 weeks she was a completely different dog! We joke that she is part cheetah because she runs SO fast! Sugar is now a playful, sometimes rambunctious, puppy. She’s gentle with our kids and our cat and has been pretty easy to train. She likes to sleep on her human sister’s bed and does not like to be alone. The one difficulty we’ve had is that she is still fearful of men for some reason. Even now she gets easily frightened by her human dad and does not listen to him well. We continue to work on this.  Sugar has been a joy to have in our family and we are so thankful she found us all the way from TX. We love her somuch!!”




“Dog is My Copilot is one of my favorite organizations now because it made it possible for Pico and me to meet. My boyfriend saw a newspaper article posted about the dogs they flew to the Animal Adoption Center, and told me “you don’t want to miss out on dogs like these.” He was right. As soon as I picked him up from the Adoption Center our first trial night, I knew I was never giving him back. Pico is my first dog, and as a newbie dog owner, he has gone pretty easy on me (only destroying 2 paper towel rolls, and putting a few holes in my tent – these were used as learning experiences for the both of us).

Within 4 days of getting to know each other, Pico went backpacking, got a new dog buddy named Denali, and fit right in to the art gallery scene in Jackson (I work at Turner Fine Art gallery, and he comes to work with me every day). He loves meeting and playing with other dogs, getting belly scratches, romping on trails, and he is getting acquainted with his first Winter (cold toes!). He road tripped to Colorado in July to go on vacation with my family where he was loved up by my brothers and parents, got to try out swimming, and went on his first boat ride. He is a perfect example of a Love-a-bull (pittbull), working to give a great breed of dogs a better reputation. I’m so glad to have Pico as my copilot!”



“To say our experience with Ruthie has been a success would be an understatement. We’ve grown so close to her over the past several months, it’s hard to imagine life without her. It feels like fate or at least serendipity brought her to the farmer’s market that day in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We’ve temporarily moved back to Louisiana so I can finish school. Before we left Wyoming, Ruthie and I took a trip into the Wyoming backcountry in a place called the “Winds” and she loved it! She’s loyal, tuned to our emotions, and has been a peach in terms of obedience and house-training. We’re so grateful to have such a wonderful pup in our lives.”  Scott and Madeline


“You would never guess Kona,would be the dog she is today. Even upon meeting her and bringing her into our home, we were a bit hesitant about her personality and temperament. WOW were we mistaken, Kona out-hikes, out- climbs, out-swims, out- runs, OUT EVERYTHING’s us! She is hilarious, sweet, goofy, WEIRD!! (some times I wonder if she is part mountain goat!) We love her and cannot imagine life without her. She is a wonderful dog.

When we brought her into our home, she was soooo scared of my fiancé (males specifically). Since then she has warmed up and even “play wrestles” with him (yes, she is the Winning Contender of the house). Everyday she warms up more and more to him, and males in general.

Kona is an amazing compliment to our German Shepherd- Border Collie mix. We even got her DNA tested to figure out just exactly what in the world she is made of. Turns out, a little Rottie, Husky, Pittie and Terrier will make the Kones… aka Kona. We seriously could not be happier with our adoption. She has been the best fit for our family and our lifestyle. THANK YOU, TEXAS and THANK YOU WYOMING!!!! 

PS. She is the best cuddler in the world and is the perfect size! She even LOVES SNOW, that’s how we know she was the perfect choice!

Thank you so much!”
Jorden, Kimberly, Atticus & Kona Trent!

Rescues stories like Sugar, Kona, Pico, and Ruthie are only made possible by your support.  Please consider making a donation to Dog Is My CoPilot to help us save more lives! Every gift makes a difference– $50 moves 1 animal and $5,000 saves an entire plane load of over 100 furry passengers!  You can make a LIFE SAVING donation HERE.

Thank you for being part of the Dog Is My CoPilot crew, we are so grateful to our entire community who make this life saving work possible!