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Meet Our Volunteer Pilot Team

Our volunteer pilots each donate 100 hours or more of flying a year.  This equals about 400+ hours with pre and post flight planning and activities. We estimate that in 2021, our volunteer pilots will save the organization over $100,000 in volunteer hours.

Petco Loves believes that helping pets live their best lives possible begins with creating lifesaving communities across the country. Dog Is My CoPilot couldn’t agree more!

Peter E. Rork, M.D.

Chief Pilot, President & Founder

Peter, “The Pilot”, is an East Coast refugee, who always believed that he was switched at birth with a kid from New Jersey. After working his way through medical school as a pilot, he practiced Orthopaedic Surgery for more than thirty years. Instead of retiring to a golf course, he has returned to the skies as our Chief Pilot. Peter holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating and is qualified to fly single and multiengine aircraft as well as seaplanes. He is also a certified flight instructor. Transporting animals to furever homes in a Cessna Turbo Cessna 206 Stationair and Cessna Grand Caravan, he says that the view from his new office beats any other.

Jeff Carter

Volunteer Pilot

Jeff works as a Test pilot and instructor for a DOD aircraft manufacturer. He spends five to six months deployed overseas per year, supporting the US military programs. While stateside, he lives in Southern California with his wife of 30 years and their 5 rescue dogs. Jeff looks forward to helping DIMC save as many pets lives as possible.

Brent Blue

Dr. Brent Blue

Volunteer Pilot

Dr. Brent Blue is an Airline Transport Pilot rated aviator with over 9,000 hours of flight time. He practices medicine in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and has three adult children. His whole family has grown up with and currently have dogs of all types. He is a FAA designated Aviation Medical Examiner and consults for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. In addition to aviation, Dr. Blue skis, mountain bikes, travels, and photographs extensively. Dr. Blue is an original board member of DIMC and is an enthusiastic support of rescue dog missions. He stated “dogs are incredible animals and bring such great joy to people. How can we not rescue as many as possible?”

Daniel Wagner

Volunteer Pilot

Developing a love of airplanes was a natural progression for Daniel Wagner. Now, 31, he grew up in a home where his dad flew 767s and his mom was a flight attendant, both for a major airline.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree at Sam Houston State University and working in marketing, he became a flight attendant for United Airlines. He quickly realized that flying airplanes and ensuring the comfort of his passengers was in his blood. After completing his flight training, Daniel had the opportunity to work for Mokulele Airlines, transporting passengers in the Cessna Caravan from island to beautiful island in Hawaii for the next 18 months.

When not flying, Daniel loves to mentor young minorities to achieve their aviation dreams for OBAP (Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals). His contagious love of aviation has fueled him to encourage many friends, family members, and even acquaintances to follow the path of aviation.

Daniel’s Cessna Caravan experience, love of animals, and his passion for helping others led him to find Dog Is My CoPilot. He looks forward to being part of the team and transporting these animals so they can ultimately find their forever homes.

Frank Maresca

Volunteer Pilot

Frank is a semi-retired mechanical engineer. Formerly the Technical Director for Clearwater Paper Consumer Products, structural design engineer at Boeing on the 757 and US Army Ordnance Officer, he is a CFII and spends winters working in the shop on equipment projects and giving flying lessons at the Lewiston, Idaho airport. Summers include fire patrol/air attack on Forest Service contracts and working with the family rock crushing business. Frank and his wife Margo have two children, Adrian and Ian as well as horses, cows, cats and Thor, the security dog.

Tim Riley

Volunteer Pilot

Tim is an avid pilot with Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor ratings who has been flying for over thirty years. He has owned a flight school where he enjoyed sharing his passion for flying with many new pilots. He is an active volunteer for a number of aviation-related organizations. He lives in Driggs, ID with his wife Janette and has two adult daughters. They enjoy all that the Tetons have to offer including flying, hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing. Tim is excited to be part of the DIMC crew and looks forward to flying with the dogs and getting them to new homes.

Jennifer Boman

Volunteer Pilot

Jennifer Boman is an Airline Transport Pilot at a major airline on the Airbus 320 based in Los Angeles, California. She was previously an instructor pilot on the KC135R in the USAFR at March ARB, California, and has served for over 17 years. She is a Colorado native and now lives with her husband Andrew in Carlsbad, CA. They lost their best friend Koru in June 2020 at 13 ½ years old who was Jennifer’s running, hiking, and cross country skiing buddy.  Jennifer is deeply grateful for this opportunity to be part of such a great organization serving these deserving animals!

Jason Wojteczko

Volunteer Pilot

Jason has been involved with aviation for over 30 years.  He is a pilot, mechanic, aircraft dealer/broker, skydiver, and Air Force veteran.  For his 23 years in the military, he lived many places overseas and served multiple combat tours to include Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).  Jason is now responsible for the day-to-day operations of his company Compass Rose Aviation which includes being a very active international aircraft delivery (ferry) pilot.

When he is not flying, or thinking about flying, Jason enjoys flying, traveling, and hanging with friends. He also confesses to being the biggest fan of his beautiful wife, Crystal.  Born in Texas and growing up in Florida, he now lives in Wichita, Kansas with Crystal and their four Chihuahuas…Rose, Iris, Lily, and Poppy (three are rescue dogs).  Jason is thrilled to be part of the Dog Is My Copilot team and will fly as many rescue missions as he can to allow these beautiful animals their forever homes!

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

Volunteer Pilot

Bio coming soon.

Pilot Training & Qualifications

Our pilots attend FlyRight training in Charlotte, North Carolina. It involves 16 hours of ground school and 6 hours of simulator training. The simulator training is quite realistic. The instrument panel is almost identical to our aircraft, and the full motion of the training platform imitates the motion and sensation of actual flight. The volunteer pilots for Dog Is My CoPilot must meet the same requirements that the airlines have.

Rescue Mission Experience

Our pilots fly the Big Dog down to an airport that is closest to our source shelters the day before a rescue flight.  They bring empty crates with them to hand off to our source partners in preparation of each flight.   The Pilots then  spend the night and arrive to the airport around 4am for preflight checklist and load the animals with  our partners at around 4:30am.  We are wheels up by 6am! Depending on the number of destination partners and required stops to drop off animals and return to  our home base hanger in Driggs, ID, they can be in the cockpit for up 8-12 hours in a day with multiple stops.

When We Fly

Our flying motto is, “Be old, not bold,” so we do not fly in bad weather.  Weather issues during the Winter precludes safe flying in the Cessna Caravan.  Icing conditions can create a very dangerous situation for the pilot, passengers and aircraft. Very special (and expensive) equipment is necessary to allow this to occur.   We will do about 80 rescue missions between April through October!

Our Flights

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.