This past week was an absolute game-changer for Pilots To The Rescue. On Tuesday, August 23rd, PTTR Top Dog Michael Schneider appeared on NBC’s “Today” show, where he shared his passion for animal rescue as well as the advantages of flying homeless pets to safety with a national audience.
Three weeks prior, Michael and volunteer pilot Victor Girgenti had been accompanied by NBC News Now anchor Joe Fryer on a life-saving mission to the American south. Before they took off, Joe sat down with Michael for an informative and deeply emotional interview at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York.
During the interview, Michael explained that transporting pets to more spacious facilities as quickly as possible significantly increases their likelihood of adoption. He also reminded Joe that the unconditional love provided by animals undoubtedly makes their lives worth saving.
“One thing I’ve realized is that lot of times, the animals save us,” Michael said with a smile.
When asked about his motivation for starting Pilots To The Rescue in 2015, Michael revealed that he was searching for a stronger sense of purpose and fulfillment in his work. His dedication to PTTR expanded dramatically during the rise of COVID-19, which put his day job on hold and gave him more time to do what he loves.
“It took me 45 years to realize what I wanted to do when I grow up,” Michael remarked.
Joe also had a word with Victor, who echoed Michael’s sentiment about the personal fulfillment that comes with saving innocent lives.
“Until you do an animal rescue, you have no idea how much better it is to give than to receive,” Victor said.
Once PTTR and the NBC crew touched down in Beaumont, Texas, they were greeted by 3 dogs and 23 puppies, the majority of which were just a few weeks old. During the flight back to the east coast, Joe observed that the new passengers were sound asleep on the flight and even seemed to understand that “they were flying towards a better life.”
To close out the segment, Joe was elated to tell Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and the rest of his colleagues at the “Today” show that some of the dogs from the mission had already found their forever homes. Before commencing his daily weather report, Al showed his appreciation for PTTR with a bit of his signature humor mixed in:
“Gotta give that group ‘props,’ (short for ‘propellers’), they’re doing a really nice thing.”
Since Michael’s appearance on the iconic “Today” show, PTTR has received an massive outpour of support from animal lovers all over the country. This means the world to us because one of our central goals at PTTR is to spread awareness about the importance of animal rescue and the harrowing number of pets who are euthanized each year, solely because of a lack of space.
On behalf of the entire team at PTTR, we thank Joe Fryer and the “Today” show for helping us promote our cause on the biggest stage imaginable. You can watch the full segment in the video below: