Air buddies

Pilots-n-Paws airlifts puppies from Blount Humane Society to new homes in New York

Paul Schechter kisses a puppy to comfort it before putting it in a cage in the aircraft for the flight to New York.

Photo by Rachel Stafford

Paul Schechter kisses a puppy to comfort it before putting it in a cage in the aircraft for the flight to New York.

On March 6 a group of puppies from Blount County got new homes in Rochester, N.Y., thanks to a group called Pilots-n-Paws and the Blount County Humane Society.

Volunteers from the Blount County Humane Society met two Rochester, N.Y., pilots at TAC Air and handed over more than a dozen puppies. The pilots placed the small animals in cages in the two planes and returned to New York.

Amy Wietlisbach with the Humane Society said this was the first time the group has done this. The Pilots-n-Paws volunteer their time to relocate animals that need new homes, said Terri Lane with the Blount County Humane Society. “It is about a 16-hour drive, and now it’s four hours, and the puppies are off to a better home,” Lane said.

The two private pilots, Paul Schechter, a medical equipment sales representative, and Jim Fingeroth, a veterinarian, stopped at TAC Air just long enough to get the puppies and leave.

“For pilots, if you love dogs and love to fly, it’s the perfect marriage,” said Schechter.

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