Dog Is My CoPilot is a busy and growing organization. We are flying thousands of animals every year from hundreds of locations across the country. Coordinating volunteer pilots, working with shelter and rescue partners, and coordinating animals that will be transported, is a time consuming task. Our Executive Director, Kara Pollard, has been the only person managing all those tasks and running our organization since she came on board more than five years ago. That is until now!
Welcome to the team, Lynette!
We would like to introduce the newest member of our team, Lynette Duford. She will be joining us as our Rescue Flight Coordinator. We are planning to save even more animals in 2022 through our rescue flights. This will require coordinating additional flights with shelters and we need extra support with all those logistics. Lynette’s passion for animal welfare began growing up on a dairy farm in Montana. Her parents encouraged her love of animals from an early age as she brought home every stray or abandoned animal that crossed her path…even baby mice! Although Lynette’s education and professional work has been in the health and fitness industry, she has always been an active volunteer with rescue groups. She spent the last 17 years part of Life Savers Animal Rescue (LSAR) where she and her husband Dana have fostered many animals focusing on seniors or dogs with medical issues at the end of their lives. They have five dogs of their own, several who have been passengers on our flights. We are thrilled to welcome her to our DIMC team. Keep an eye out for her on the ground during our rescue missions throughout the year.
One of the many logistical challenges Lynnette will face is the need for animal crates. The plastic vari kennels that we use on the Big Dog are reused hundreds of times on our flights. The crates can be easily stacked on the Big Dog, broken down for storage, and sterilized between flights. The challenge is returning the empty crates from the previous flights. These need to get from the receiving adoption centers to the overcrowded shelters in the south before the animals can be transported. Many times we can collect these empty crates when we head back to another source location. Our volunteer pilots make stops heading south and pick up empty crates and supplies to bring to the next source location. This will be one of the many tasks Lyntte will be coordinating with our partners and pilots!
We used these crates last week when we rescued 50 dogs from our partners at El Paso Animal Services and brought them to Logan, Utah. Unfortunately, because of the weather, we could not get the dogs all the way to their final destination of Jackson, Wyoming, so the Animal Adoption Center, based in Jackson, met us in Utah. They even brought some puppuccinos for our smallest passengers to ease their travel anxiety. With the help of another local partner, Cache Humane Society, the animals were unloaded from the Big Dog and reloaded into a van for the final leg of the journey. Partnerships are saving lives. We are grateful for the opportunity to be the link between so many amazing shelter and rescue organizations across the country. It is inspiring to watch all these partners work together.
Here’s how you can be part of the solution:
Whether you work with an animal shelter or just love pets, anyone can get involved with animal rescue. Volunteering at your local shelter is a great place to start. Many organizations are looking for folks to help with daily chores like cleaning facilities, walking animals, and feeding all the pups. Fostering an animal is a great way to help relieve the stress animals face in an overcrowded shelter. Spending time with animals relieves stress in humans too. Fostering can be the difference between life and death for senior dogs and cats that can take extra time to adopt. We always encourage adoption but please only adopt if you are able to commit to the needs of the animal you bring into your life. Finally you can donate. Animal shelters across the country are in need of funds to house, feed and maintain their shelters in every community in our nation.