Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I happened across Animal Rescue Flights, ARF, a few months ago while wandering on-line.

Animal Rescue Flights promotes, plans, and performs the process of moving animals from overcrowded shelters where they face certain death to other parts of the country where qualified families are waiting to adopt them. Due to the complexity and distances needing to be covered, Animal Rescue Flights works with various pilot organizations that specialize in these types of flights to find the most efficient and timely method of transporting the endangered animals. Our goal is to find the resources to accomplish these flights and to plan and coordinate each project with those involved. Although we are happy to fill point-to-point, shorter transport requests, because we have Flight Coordinators, our specialty is being able to move animals over longer distances using pilot relays. We make it easy for our pilots. Our Flight Coordinators (who are pilots) work with the senders and receivers, plan flights around each participating pilot's limitations and requests, and make sure all state animal transport laws are being followed to the best of our understanding...all the pilots need to do is fly and take photos!

We are looking for pilots, student pilots, and non-pilots who can contribute their time and skills in promoting, planning, and performing this effort. While flying is a big part of the process, the success of each flight relies on careful planning and coordination with the shelters and pilots, as well as arranging ground transportation, locating airports, and other important support needs. Let us know how you can help!

I signed up with them for ground transport, as my car hasn't yet sprouted wings, but so far haven't done any driving for them since there aren't any Canadian pilots on board with the project. Hopefully, that'll change soon. Certainly, dog delivery flights between Montreal and Toronto would be appreciated.

ARF started up in April of this year and already have some great success stories. Here's a recent one:

12/13/2008 - 1 dog from Arkansas to Tennessee - If dogs could talk, Nikita would have quite a story to tell. She disappeared in Chattanooga, TN, and 10 days later was picked up as a stray with a gunshot wound to her hind leg in northwest Arkansas over 700 miles from home. No major interstate directly runs from Chattanooga to Siloam Springs, adding to the mystery of how Nikita ended up there. Her leg was amputated but that's not slowing her down. A huge thanks to Brent for flying over 300nm one-way against a miserable headwind that resulted in groundspeeds between 60 - 90 knots and returning again two hours late but with precious cargo. Thanks to James Turner and Dan Dorney who waited those two hours very patiently at the meeting point and continued Nikita's flight on to Chattanooga. Being greeted by TV cameras and reporters inspired by Nikita's long journey, James took on the job of representing ARF to the communities of Tennessee.

There was some good media coverage of this last transport which you can check out here, here and here.

This is ARF's main website, but there's also more information here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to start a "pet airline" Starting within Canada. We have such a beautiful country and I would love to be able to fly out west and out east or even just way up north with my dog. I don't feel comfortable AT ALL with placing my dog underneath in the luggage areas. I thought with a pet airline we could have the ailes on planes wide enough to place the dog/animal carrier or crate next to our seats. It would be like 50/50 ratio between owners and their pets. Wheres Richard Branson when you need him?? oh to be rich!!!!!anyway working for ARF would be an incredibly rewarding experience and if anything like that started in canada I would LOVE to be involved. what a great job THAT would be.

I could call the airline "skypets"