When Dogs Fly

in Aviation & Charity,News

Today’s post is a “feel good” story.  It’s about a charity, Pilots N Paws, and the 747 pets they helped match with new families after the tornado struck Joplin, Missouri this past spring.

Joplyn rescued dog flies home

Joplyn in the plane flying to her new home (photo courtesy of AOPA Online)

You’ll find the complete article, “Joplyn flies out of Joplin, lands new home” on AOPA Online.

The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes was on the scene very shortly after the tornado had struck Joplin, killing 150 people.  More than once he got a bit choked up while covering the story. 

For example: The camera captured the moving moment when a dog sprang liberated from a pile of debris.  “Oh, they just pulled out their dog.  That’s great,” Bettes said while filming live.

A month later Bettes and The Weather Channel returned to Joplin for a follow-up story.  One of their stops included the Humane Society to talk about the animals left homeless after the tornado.

According to the Humane Society, pets are often left on their own after a disaster strikes.  There are many reasons: The owner may have been killed; injured or left homeless.  Many times the owners simply can’t be found despite all the efforts made to reunite pets with their owners.

Mike Bettes ended up adopting one of the dogs – a golden retriever – and named her Joplyn.  In addition, the senior producer of The Weather Channel also adopted a rescued dog.

Both dogs were flown to their new homes by the charity, Pilots N Paws (founded by Deborah Boies).  Volunteers for Pilots N Paws provide air transportation so displaced animals are brought together with new adoptive owners in distant places.

According to Mike Bettes, Joplyn is doing great.  “She has adjusted very well,” Bettes wrote in an email.  “She loves to go hiking and of course to be petted.”

Charity and aviation once again team up to do great work.