Pilots-N-Paws: A sky-high endeavor

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By Carolyn Risner

When Reba strayed into the animal shelter April 27, she was missing fur on over 50 percent of her body. Yet both staff and volunteers took to the sweet personality dog and decided she was a life worth saving.


Dr. Darlene Esler at Chiefland Animal Hospital drew blood, ran tests and confirmed that while Reba had demadex mange, she did not suffer with heart worm.

Dr. Esler prescribed medication and Arnette Garrison began a treatment plan to restore the loveable dog to health.

Visitors to the kennel loved her and she craved their attention, often wagging her tail and nestling to them.

Jennifer Sweeney of Noah’s Arks Rescue in South Carolina heard Reba’s story and wanted to continue her treatment.

Enter Pilots-N-Paws, a volunteer group of aviators who fly rescued animals from one destination to another at no cost to shelters.

On June 3, Key West pilot Jeff Bennett landed at the Williston Airport where a Humane Society volunteer waited to hand Reba off.

Bennett said Reba’s departure made 50 pet flights for him and likened the work of Pilots-N-Paws to a modern-day Underground Railroad–except it’s all up in the air.

Bennett said he had half dozen scheduled stops that day moving one pet and then another from location to location. He said he would be home by four that afternoon.

Learn more about the volunteer air flight group at http://pilotsnpaws.org/

For Reba, who didn’t hestitate to get in the crate and fly off into parts unknown, it looks as if it’s only sunny skies ahead.