From the desolate country in southern Texas to the welcoming families in Vermont, countless dogs have been saved from euthanasia. In Texas, hundreds of stray dogs run loose close to the Mexico border. In these rural areas, specifically the Rio Grande Valley, the only real chance at survival is the Society for Companion Animals. This organization works to gather strays from smaller shelters so they can transport them to better populated parts of the country, thus increasing their chances for adoption.

The work isn’t always glamorous but a simple gesture, like an excited tail wag, or a successful adoption makes it all worthwhile. Transporting dogs out of rural Texas requires early mornings and coordination between a no kill animal rescue that drives the animals to the airport, and the shelters involved. Sounds simple enough right? Well, it should be. Coordinating transport is one thing but other variables, like the weather, cannot be controlled.

These non-profit shelters don’t do it alone, however, and that is where Pilots to the Rescue comes in. With bad weather comes pilots who may not be able to fly from one shelter to the next. In the case of dogs Fred, Alice, Canella, and Gregory it was pilot Pavlo and copilot James who helped make the rescue magic happen.

With the additional help and hard work from Yvette of Transporters Without Borders, and Beth of Rutland Humane Society, these four dogs could made it out of Texas. Happily placed in their new homes, these dogs, once so close to death, are never without a reason to wag their tail.

MAJOR AIRLINES Alaska Airlines – Pet in cabin – $100.00 USD each way Pet in baggage – $100.00 USD each way. Animal doesn’t have to be owned the traveler and can be a rescue pet. • The pet carrier counts toward your carry-on bag allotment. You may bring either a pet carrier and a personal item, or a pet carrier and a standard size carry-on bag. You may not board the aircraft with a pet carrier, a standard size carry-on, and a personal item. • A customer may travel with a maximum of 2 pet carriers in the main cabin, only when the adjacent seat is purchased by the same customer. • Pets allowed in the passenger cabin are dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds. Dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks old and must have been fully weaned. • Up to 2 pets of the same species and similar size may travel in the same carrier, provided no body parts protrude from the carrier and the animals are not in distress. Brachycephalic or “short-nosed” dogs and cats are not accepted for travel in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines flights (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest, or PenAir). Dogs: boston terrier, boxer (all breeds), bull dog (all breeds), bull terrier, brussels griffon, chow chow, english toy spaniel, japanese spaniel/japanese chin, mastiff (all breeds), pekingese, pit bull (all breeds), pug (all breeds), shih tzu, staffordshire terrier. Cats: Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian. All pets traveling in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir) must have a health certificate dated within 10 days of initial travel and 30 days of return travel, when the return flight is booked in the same record. Pets traveling on a return flight booked in a separate record are required to have a health certificate dated within 10 days of that flight. A health certificate is not required for pets traveling in the cabin with their passenger; however, many states have specific importation health and vaccination requirements.

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