Shelters nationwide are over capacity

As we’re ‘flying’ into the summer months during one of the hardest years for shelters nationwide we are grateful to celebrate the animals you have helped to save. Together with our partners we are rescuing nearly 1,000 animals a month but the situation for shelter pets is becoming evermore urgent.  With the rising number of animals entering shelters nationwide, we are grateful to be flying our two rescue planes nearly seven days a week! Shelters are beyond capacity as intake rates increase and adoptions, fostering, and rescue are struggling to keep up.

Let’s celebrate the ones we can save

Today, we want to share with you a heartwarming story.  We have met so many amazing animals in our travels and Sage is no exception. He was surrendered to one of our partner shelters, the Presidio Animal Shelter in far West Texas in October 2022. That year ended without a single dog or cat being adopted from the Presidio Animal Shelter all year, despite more than 200 intakes. Sage developed significant stress in the shelter and started to show signs of mental decline and related behavioral issues. Despite this, there was hustle to keep a kennel available and dedicated enrichment to make him happier. Sage held on.

Last month thanks to our partners One Tail at a Time PDX (OTAT-PDX) and The Underground Dog he boarded The Big Dog and flew to Portland, Oregon.   Away from a no-adoption shelter, a history of neglect, and a lifetime of waiting for ‘The Good Life’. A foster with OTAT-PDX was waiting to welcome him and unload him from The Big Dog.

Passenger 28,000, Fergus finds a home in Conneticut!

We want to thank everyone who makes it possible for us to connect these incredible dogs, cats, and people in this life saving work. Together, we transform shelters of despair into places of hope. Recently we rescued our 28,000th animal Fergus.  His story is typical for the animals that we see everyday. Fergus was saved from neglect and in need of a loving home by the Fort Worth Animal Care & Control, one of our partners in Texas. We were so happy to be able to provide him a free ride to a loving home in Connecticut.

Together we’re making an impact for dogs and cats and the people who love them

Sage and Fergus’ stories serve as a humble reminder of our mission and why we continue to fly all over the United States.  For the past ten years our model has been to utilize volunteer pilots to help complete our rescue missions. Recently one of our dedicated volunteer pilots flew our 28,000th passenger, Fergus. Pearson Ward grew up in an Army family and had the opportunity to live all over the East coast and Germany.  He has experience flying cargo for the Army as a government contractor in Afghanistan and Africa as well as flying business jets out of Tampa, Florida. Growing up he has always had at least one dog and knows the love and great memories a pet can bring to a family.

The Dog Is My CoPilot family is growing to save more lives!

With the addition of our second Cessna Caravan airplane, we found that having two full-time pilots on staff allows us to provide greater reliability with our transportation services. In June, Shayne Bradburn joined our team to keep our two rescue planes ‘wheels up’.  Shayne began flying at 16 and joined the Air National Guard at 17.  Since then he has served in multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and currently lives in Mississippi.  We are so excited to have Shayne on board and part of our team!

The Big Dog + The Sequel meet up for the first time!

Our planes can now cover the entire continental United States. We have over 250 shelter partners from Maine, to Oregon into Texas and California. In a chance encounter, our two rescue planes were in the same airport for an evening this spring. Our Founder and Chief Pilot Dr. Rork and our Pilot Coordinator Frank Maresca were both on their way to Texas to pick up hundreds of animals and bring them to points across the country! We are proud to be able to provide these services free of charge and support rescue organizations from coast to coast.  With support from incredible lifesaving partners like Petco Love we have been able to considerably scale up our lifesaving efforts. We are so grateful to everyone that is part of our Dog Is My CoPilot family.

It is because of people like you who read and care about stories like Sage and Fergus that make all the difference in the lives of these animals. Thank you for believing in our mission, we can’t do it without you!

With love,

The Dog Is My CoPilot team