How Dog Is My CoPilot Transports Dogs To Rescue

Every day over 2,000 healthy dogs and cats are euthanized in our nations shelters— the result of too many animals and too few homes. At Dog Is My Co Pilot, we are working to reduce euthanasia rates by transporting animals from places with overcrowded shelters to adoption centers in geographic regions where loving families are waiting to adopt them.

In our short history, we have flown over 11,000 animals to safety.

DIMC flies as many animals as possible in a single flight to maximize efficiency.  DIMC does not charge our partners organizations for our transport services. As opposed to long-distance ground transportation or the red tape of commercial flights, transporting animals via private aircraft is efficient and affordable — just $50 per animal, per flight. But resources are always in demand and DIMC looks to the public to keep flying.

DIMC’s success is due to its dedicated team of on the ground volunteers, partner animal rescue organizations and financial contributors. Here is a list of frequently asked questions to provide more background on our service:

Where Do We Fly?

We fly from overcrowded shelters, primarily in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California to destination animal rescue organizations located primarily in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

What Type Of Aircraft Do We Fly?

Dog Is My CoPilot operates a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, aka ‘The Big Dog’. Pilot Peter says, “with a 675HP turbine engine up front, there is more than enough power to fly abandoned dogs and cats to their new homes!”

How Many Animals Can You Transport On One Flight?

The Big Dog was retrofitted from a 12-passenger plane to one that can carry up to 250 animals dependent on animal and crate size.

Is It Safe For Animals To Fly?

Each animal that is transported is required to have a health certificate, vaccinations and have been examined by a veterinarian prior to flight. All pet passengers travel in crates to ensure their safety while flying.

What Type of Animals Do You Fly? 

DIMC’s passengers are predominantly dogs (80 percent versus 20 percent cats) who come from about 20 source shelters. Despite being called kill shelters, these open-admission shelters, often in crowded municipal areas, have staff that want the best outcome for the animals in their care — animals that may have been dumped at the shelter or born on the streets and removed for public health and safety reasons. DIMC rescue flights make working at those shelters a little more hopeful.

If you have any other qeustions, please do not hesitate to contact us flightupdates@dogcopilot.org  


DIMC Partner Animal Adoption Center “Sleepover” Program

A new trend of ‘pet sleepovers’ is on the rise with animal lovers in the US.

Pet lovers are enjoying a little extra time with animals from local Adoption centers in their homes. These sleepovers, often over weekends, helps each animal understand what life is like as a pet in a family home.

Recently, our partner organization, Animal Adoption Centerwas featured in a local newspaperand explained how the program has increased animal adoption rates.

Nearly 400 community members who take the Animal Adoption Center’s dogs for “sleepovers.” From reducing stress to increasing adoptability to improving behavior, foster homes provide a long list of benefits to homeless pets.

Each day and for weekends — Friday through Tuesday — foster caregivers pick up the animals between 4 and 6 p.m. at the Adoption Center, where they are provided with food and a crate, harness and leash. The dogs are dropped back off between 9 a.m. and noon the next day when potential adopters can meet and walk them.

Dog Is My CoPilot(DIMC) collaborates with partners like  Animal Adoption Centerto reduce euthanasia rates by transporting animals from places with overcrowded shelters to adoption centers in other geographic regions where loving families are waiting to adopt them.

 The best part is that DIMC does not charge our partners organizations for our transport services.  As opposed to long-distance ground transportation or the red tape of commercial flights, transporting animals via private aircraft is efficient and affordable — just $50 per animal, per flight. 

Have you ever had a dog or cat sleep over? How often do you visit your local adoption center?

If you want to support Dog is My CoPilot or want to know more about us, please do not hesitate to contact us flightupdates@dogcopilot.org.

7 Ideas For Traveling With Pets

Flying with dogs, or any pet, has always been a stressful experience for pet owners and animials.

This month Peter Rork, Founder of Dog Is My CoPilot, flew his 11,000th passenger and recorded his 8,000th flight hour – that’s like spending 333 days or 11 months in the air.  At Dog is My CoPilot, we transport animals from overcrowded shelters to adoption centers in other geographic regions where loving families are waiting to adopt the animals. Here are some helpful ideas which we’ve learned over the years which might help you and your pet fly safely.  If you want to learn more about our rescue flights, sign-up here to receive an email alert about our life saving flights.

Regardless of how you’re flying with your pet, here are a few ideas to help improve the experience.

Obtain health certificate for your pet

 A health certificate provides assurance that your pet is safe to travel. Plan your vet visit before you travel to avoid any unnecessary problems or flight delays and provide yourself with the confidence that your pet is healthy and ready to fly.

Understand when to choose Cabin or Cargo

When traveling on a commercial airline, pets can fly three ways: in the cabin, as checked baggage or as manifest (air) cargo.

In order to travel in the cabin, your pet must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier, and the carrier will need to fit under a passenger seat. Policies vary by airline, so check the regulations prior to booking a flight. If you’re traveling with a cat, the cabin is usually the best choice. If your pet is a service or comfort animal, different requirements apply but these rules too have changed in the last year.

For dogs weighing more than 11 to 13 pounds (including their carrier), flying as checked baggage or air cargo might be the only option. The main difference between checked baggage and air cargo is how your pet is processed by the airlines.

In air cargo, you must check in and pick up your pet at the cargo facility of your airline. The facility is generally located at the airport, but not at the terminal where passengers check-in.

On the other hand, if your pet is traveling as checked baggage, check-in is at the ticket counter and pick-up is at the baggage claim in the airport.

Know the fees and book early

Reserving space for your pet is best done earlier rather than later because airlines limit the number of pets onboard each plane. Have the details of your desired flight ready for the agent, and be ready with a second choice, especially when flying around holidays or other busy periods in the year..

Once your flights are assigned, you’ll be asked to pay an additional pet travel fee, which ranges from $75 to $125. The fee is charged for each way of travel, so a round-trip flight means paying the pet travel fee twice.

Invest in a Pet Crate Training

A crate is your pet’s safe place during travel, so you should spend the month before travel crate-training your pet, getting them used to being inside the crate and letting them know that it is a safe, comfortable space. If you are unsure about the right crate for your situation, we suggest crates that are:

  • Large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around comfortably.
  • Sturdy and free of obstructions or features that could harm your pet.
  • Ventilated on three or four sides with little restrictions to airflow.
  • Clearly labeled with your name, cell phone number, address and feeding and hydration instructions for your pet.
  • Marked with a sign that reads, “Live Animal,” with arrows showing which way is upright.
  • Lined with pet pads or shredded newspaper in case your pet goes to the bathroom in the crate.

If your pet is traveling with you in the cabin, soft-sided carriers are a better option than hard-sided carriers. Taking off, you must put your pet under the seat in front of you. Soft-sided carriers will compress, so that you can more easily fit the carrier under the space in the seat in front of you.

Prepare a Packing List

Packing for both yourself and your furry companion might seem complicated. To avoid forgetting any important documents or items, make a packing list. Here are some of the must-have items for pet travel:

●     Your pet’s certificate of veterinary inspection and medical records.

●     ID tags on your pet’s crate and collar with both your permanent address and vacation address(es).

●     Contact information of your regular veterinarian and an emergency contact at your destination.

●     Everyday essentials like food and treats, food and water bowls, collar, leash and harness, and a favorite toy or blanket. If you’re flying with a cat, you also may want to bring along litter and a portable litter tray

Don’t Forget About Hydration

Although you should avoid feeding your pet four to six hours before travel, hydration is very important. If your pet is traveling in the cargo hold, we often encourage families to try freezing water in a bowl to reduce spillage or buying an attachable water bottle for the crate. For cabin travel, pack a water bowl in your travel bag and offer your pet water throughout the travel day.

International Travel and Microchips

You may want to consider microchipping your pet before your trip. For some countries, including those in the European Union, pets must be microchipped if visiting from another country. Don’t foget to take time to familiarize yourself with each countires policy on foreign pets.. If you don’t meet their requirements, you and your pet may face difficulties upon arrival.


When it comes to traveling with pets, many familiies and pet owners image a stressful and difficult travel experience. Remember, it doesn’t have to be this way — advance preparation often improves the eperience for your both the pet and owner.

A Mother’s Day Gift To Save Lives

This Mother’s Day, send your Mom something meaningful by honoring her with a gift to homeless pets and help save precious lives in her name. Every gift will go straight to helping us transport animals from overcrowded shelters.

You can make your gift extra special by emailing or printing a personalized e-card with your donation. Not only can you honor your Mom, but you can give a gift for your grandmother, aunt, friend and anyone’s mom while sharing your love of animals.  The following picture is the example of our personalized card you can choose to send.

Thank you for spreading the love this Mother’s Day, and for helping us save more lives!

We hope that you’ll join our mission this Mother’s Day.

Peter ‘The Pilot’, Founder and Chief Pilot







Happy Birthday Pilot Peter!

May 15th is Pilot Peter’s birthday and he’ll be flying dozens of dogs to safety on a rescue mission.  In fact, he has 2 rescue flights this week! Will you join in the celebration by leaving a birthday message for Peter in the comments at the bottom of this page?

We’ll share every note with Pilot Peter during the rescue flight on his Birthday from California all the way to Washington and Montana! Every message will help make his day more special while he’s in flight!

If you’re interested in making a donation in honor of Peter’s birthday, you can make a gift to Dog is My CoPilot through Peter’s birthday fundraiser on Facebook.

Help us fly animals to safety all year round!

✈️🐾 If you haven’t heard about our Squadron Membership program, it’s one of the easiest, but most important, ways you can help save lives! By providing monthly donations, you ensure the safety of thousands of dogs and cats! Please join our special group of Dog Is My CoPilot Squadron Members. This generous group gives monthly, providing financial support for the life saving rescue flights.

The ‘Big Dog’ flies thousands of miles each year, transporting these special animals to safety. We connect dozens of rescue partners, but Jet fuel prices alone, cost our non-profit more than $90,0000 per year.  We never charge the groups we fly for so we rely on the generous support from people like you! 

Since we know we can count on regular donations from our Squadron Members, we are able to respond to emergencies, and work with our rescue partners to coordinate flights in advance.

  1. Memberships are easy on your budget. You can set-up a gift that will have a meaningful impact over the course of the year.
  2. You have full control. You can increase, decrease or stop your donation at anytime.
  3. You’ll be part of our team. We’ll invite you to participate in member only online events where we share stories from recent rescues.

Today alone, more than four thousand perfectly healthy and adoptable dogs and cats will be euthanized. But your monthly gift can help save these pets by giving them a lifesaving second chance, flying them to their “furever” home. Please consider helping animals all year round by making a monthly gift today ✈️🐾

Save Animal Lives by “Donating Your Birthday” to Dog Is My CoPilot with Facebook

Do you have a Birthday coming up and have family and friends asking you what you want this year and not sure what to tell them? Since we know that you are an animal lover we might have the perfect idea!

Facebook now gives you the option to create a fundraising campaign that you can share with your family and friends to let them know that this year—in lieu of gifts—you would like a donation to be made to Dog Is My CoPilot. You’re gifts will go straight to work flying abandoned shelters animals to safety and give them a the second chance they deserve!

You’re own birthday fundraiser is a simple and impactful way that you can help us save the lives of shelter animals and give them a second chance by flying them home! Don’t worry, it’s easy to setup and we’ve outlined a few simple steps to get you started!

  1. Create your Birthday celebration here and Facebook will guide you through the steps.
  2. Don’t forget to set an achievable fundraising goal. Try starting with $200 or $300. You can always raise the amount based on your success—and remember that for every $50 we can fly another dog or cat to safety!
  3. Invite people on your friends’ list and engage with them! The more people you invite, the more money you’ll raise. And remember to thank your friends as they donate and watch the numbers go up!

At Dog Is My CoPilot, we don’t want to miss out on the celebration—please email us after you set up your campaign and share your mailing address so we can send you a special card!


California pet stores will sell animals from shelters only

A recent law requires that California pet stores can only sell rescue dog and cats that come from animal shelters or non profit organizations—this is really big news that we couldn’t be more excited for!

The Pet Rescue Adoption Act, went into effect January 1, 2019 and bans all California pet stores from selling puppies, kittens and rabbits sourced from commercial breeders. Instead, these stores will only be able to house rescue animals from local shelters. The law will target the breeding facilities known as puppy mills or kitten factories, which often operate with little attention to the animals’ welfare by housing them in overcrowded, unsanitary and inhumane conditions. These animals are then sold to commercial pet stores solely for profit.   To learn more about the legislation check out, A.B. 485.

According to Best Friends Animal Society 4,100 dogs and cats are euthanized every day in animal shelters. The number of animals that are needlessly dying in shelters simply because there is not enough space for them could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. If you buy a dog or a cat from a pet store, you’re most certainly getting a pet from a puppy mill. Puppy mills and kitten factories continue to stay in business simply because their consumers are unaware of where the animals have come from when they purchase a puppy or kitten from a pet store. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop supporting them.

Dog Is My CoPilot dedicates all of our program and resources to fly animals from overcrowded shelters to organizations in other states that have space to find them homes. Creating more opportunities and ways for people to adopt a pet rather than purchase a pet will ensure more animals waiting in shelters have the opportunity to find loving homes. We fly on average about 20 flights per year from overcrowded California shelters—we hope that more states will follow California!





Holiday Honor Gift

This holiday season, there is no better way to express your love for family, friends and their furry companions than by donating in their honor to Dog Is My CoPilot.

Make your gift extra special by sending a personalized Dog Is My CoPilot holiday E-card along with your donation. No stamps or shipping required— just select your gift amount and choose to either print or send this special holiday e-card.

Celebrate the holiday season with everyone on your list by giving the gift of animal rescue.  Your donation helps us save animals and is a unique gift that will brighten the holidays for your loved ones and for homeless animals.

It’s never too late to find that one special gift— a gift that will Fly Them Home.

To make your Holiday Honor gift and send a personalized card today visit: https://dogismycopilot.nationbuilder.com/holiday_gift_donation

Shrek and Fiona find their fur-ever home! #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday is on November 27, and we wanted to share a story about two very special Dog Is My CoPilot passengers to celebrate this global day of giving back! Shrek and Fiona were found abandoned in the Central Valley of California with only a handful of food and suffering from a terrible case of mange.  It was obvious this brother and sister had been neglected for most of their life.


Take a look at them now in this heartwarming video with Pilot Peter.  You won’t believe their transformation in just a few short months!


When animal control picked them up their plan was to euthanize these pups but Sharon Lohman with New Beginnings for Merced County Animals saw the beauty in these dogs and reached out to Lynette Duford with Life Saver Animal Rescue in Northwest Montana who agreed to take them on and get them on the path of healing.  Dog Is My CoPilot provided the long distance transport!




After traveling on the ‘Big Dog’, foster mom extrondianirre Lynette Duford, unloaded Shrek and Fiona and they started on the road to recovery the second they landed in her arms.   With lots of love, kisses, snuggles and some (medication) these two lovely dogs started to flourish and eventually found their way into the loving arms of their fur-ever mom!



Shwanda of Missoula, Montana just couldn’t resist their ‘hippo-like’ appearance and overwhelmingly sweet personalities.  Instead of only adopting one as she originally planned she couldn’t imagine this bonded pair living apart so she took this brother and sister duo straight back home with her!

“I had been following their story since the moment they landed in Montana.  Shrek and fiona are both very smart, learn quickly and always want to please.  They love playing hard and snuggling long!  I think I needed them as much as they need me, its a perfect match” said Shwanda, Shrek and Fiona’s mom.

Rescues like Shrek and Fiona are only made possible by your contribution.  Please consider making a donation to Dog Is My CoPilot to celebrate #GivingTuesday and help us save more lives just like this fun loving hippo pair! 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 DIMC crew we are so grateful to our entire community who makes this life saving work possible!