Epic Puppy Rescue from Knoxville

On October 1st, we returned to Knoxville, TN where PTTR Top Dog Pilot Michael Schneider, accompanied by PTTR Executive Assistant Extraordinaire Brielle Petrella, who also volunteers for Amazing Mutts Puppy Rescue picked up 16 puppies and one adult dog in danger of being euthanized at various shelters in the area.

Our partners at Fi Dog Collars sent along a cameraman to grab some footage and Instagram stars Tinkerbelle and Belle (pictured above) were on hand to greet us at the airport.

October the red lab puppy, Arya a 6-month-old who was recovering from a nasty bout of mange, Toby a 7-month-old whose owner no longer wanted him, 2 heeler puppies – Saturn and Jupiter, 6 yellow lab puppies named after famous chefs – Gordon, Julia, Paula, Bobby, Emeril, and Guy – and 4 heeler puppies named after planets – Mercury, Venus, Neptune, Mars – have all now been adopted into happy, loving homes!

One very pregnant adult dog named Sahara joined us as well. She’s tucked away comfortably in a foster home where she can deliver and raise her puppies, before finding a forever home of her own.

Enjoy the heartwarming photos in the video below as the puppies were adopted!

Sweet Sixteen from Texas

From Athens, Texas to just outside Washington, DC would have been a 20-hour, 1,300-mile road trip for 16 deserving dogs, but National Mutt Day (July 31) was their lucky day as Pilots To The Rescue stepped in to speed up their journey to safety.

Originating with the Humane Society of Cedar Creek in Tool, Texas, and Athens Animal Rescue Shelter in Athens, Texas, the team from Athens met our volunteer pilots at the southern border of Virginia. There Fluffy the Great Pyrenees, Hayes, an abandoned Mountain Cur, young Shepherd mixes Cornel and Calypso, a German Shepherd named Dana and a Chihuahua called Chatita, Lab mix puppies Charlie and Chantal, Collie-mix puppies Gage, Giovanni, Gabe, and Gabriel, All American Mutts Garbanzo and Mung, and two little red hounds, Yoda and Yogi boarded the Pilots To The Rescue plane, piloted by Top Dog Pilot Michael Schneider and Co-Pilot Daniel Baumel. A few hours later, they arrived in Manassas where they received a warm welcome from dozens of foster families from To The Rescue, a rescue group located in the Washington, DC Metro Area.

The volunteers at To The Rescue (not affiliated with Pilots To The Rescue) are dedicated to saving the lives of cats and dogs from over-crowded shelters in North Carolina, ​South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, and Texas. All 16 dogs have been adopted into loving homes.

If you’re considering adopting a new family member, check with our destination shelters indicated by * on the Pilots To The Rescue website today.

Flying Cats with Sasha Bee

On July 28th, a dozen kittens took to the skies for a life-saving flight from Virginia to New Hampshire. They were stewarded by Pilots To The Rescue Top Dog Pilot Michael Schneider, Co-Pilot Daniel Baumel, and professional make-up artist, influencer, and animal lover Sasha Baez.


The 12 kittens, from Purrfect Hearts Cat Rescue in North Carolina, made the 950-mile journey to the welcoming arms of new families in New Hampshire. We hope you enjoy the video from the rescue and our slideshow below of some of the kitten’s happy in their new homes!


10 Reasons to Adopt A Shelter Dog – ASPCA

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world. Founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law, the ASPCA is a national animal welfare organization with more than 2 million supporters across the country. So they know their stuff.  What are the top 10 reasons to adopt a shelter dog?

#1. You’re Saving More Than One Life
#2. Unconditional Love! What Could Be Better
#3. Read the rest on the ASPCA website at 10 Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Dog | ASPCA

And then go adopt a shelter dog! Better yet – go adopt a shelter dog transported to safety by Pilots To The Rescue! #adoptdontshop

Dill, a rescued labrador retriever

Photo: Dill, a Labrador Retriever mix. Check with A New Chance Animal Rescue for adoption information.


Special Mission: Species Survival

Special Mission: Species Survival

In addition to flying dogs and cats to safety, we sometimes help transport wildlife as well. That was the case in late July, when we helped the Niabi Zoo‘s conservation program by transporting two baby Fennec Foxes – Bitti and his brother Bikku. The transfer was done at the recommendation of the Fennec Fox Species Survival Program, for the purpose of sustaining Fennec Fox captive populations and spreading the educational messaging of this incredible species.

PTTR Pilot Wes Kautzmann flew from Elkhart, Indiana to Moline, Illinois to pick Bitti and Bikku up from their caretakers at Niabi Zoo and fly them 1,100+ miles to Ellenville, New York. There they were met by Animal Embassy Founder Chris Evers. The next morning little Bitti continued on to Buttonwood Zoo in Massachusetts.

The flight cut several hours off the duration of their trip and was a huge improvement over flying cargo from a safety and comfort standpoint. “Flying animals or transferring in general is always a stress filled process” said Niabi Zoo Assistant Director Tammy Schmidt, “however having the honor of flying our little kits with Pilots to the Rescue was quite a relief. Thank you for this smooth transition for the boys.

These two adorable foxes will both become Animal Ambassadors – Bitti in Massachusetts and Bikku in Connecticut, helping to educate and inspire society to protect wildlife and wild places and helping the public learn about the importance of Species Survival Plans.

Pilots To The Rescue in People Magazine!

Pilots To The Rescue in People Magazine!

If you’re a fan of People Magazine, (and who isn’t?) you’ll love this new article by Kelli Bender currently featured in the online magazine’s digital issue about a recent Pilots To The Rescue mission that saved fifty-one cats and kittens!  Read all about this life-saving mission and see the photos online at people.com.

Check us out in Go Magazine – the AAA magazine for the Carolinas!

Check us out in Go Magazine – the AAA magazine for the Carolinas!

Pilots To The Rescue is featured in the current issue of Go Magazine – AAA’s official magazine for the Carolinas, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.  Author Martin Rose wrote a fabulous piece that talks about the problem of pet overpopulation, the challenges we face as an organization, and how you can help.

Read it online now on the AAA Go Magazine website.

PTTR’s Heroic Efforts Saved A Juvenile Loggerhead Turtle

Remember that turtle we rescued? It was last December and a cold front had stranded hundreds of sea turtles along Cape Cod. The New England Aquarium was quickly overwhelmed. So the Sea Turtle Stranding and Disentanglement Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries reached out for help to get one of the turtles – a 31-pound Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtle known as 20-910-Cc – from Boston to Sea Turtle Recovery in New Jersey. Michael and Daniel dug the plane out of the snow (literally!) and completed the mission. Sea Turtle Recovery reported the next day that 20-910-Cc was on antibiotics but doing well.

That’s the last we’d heard until we got this letter in the mail from NOAA thanking Pilots To The Rescue for our help. Turns out our buddy recovered and has now been released back into the wild!


PTTR rescue featured on NJ.com

PTTR rescue featured on NJ.com

More great media coverage of our one of our rescues! This time from NJ.com, the #1 provider of local news in New Jersey and The Lehigh Valley.

Read it here.

500 Miles with Cheryl Martinez – 19++++ Pets Saved!

Pregnant black & white cat


500 Miles with Cheryl Martinez – 19++++ Pets Saved!


In early February, Pilots to the Rescue Top Dog Michael Schneider and co-pilot Cheryl Martinez® an American Entertainer & Health Coach from NYC, made the now-familiar run from Pittsylvania Pet Center, an overly full municipal shelter in Chatham, Virginia to Animal Rescue League of Greater Portland. They made the 500-mile flight in a little over three hours saving a whopping 5 dogs and 14 cats.


Adoptable dog


Our friends at Animal Rescue League of Greater Portland report that of the 14 cats on the flight, Akira, Yukio, Espeon, Jean Simmon, Carmel, Doris Day, Merlin, Don Henley, Garfield, Blaziken, and Ollie are all already adopted! Amoonguss and Arbok are still to young but are thriving in foster care. Snoopy surprised everyone with a totally unexpected pregnancy, and she is also in a foster home where she can deliver her precious kittens in a safe, warm, loving environment. Of the 5 dogs who made the trip, Woody and Tinker Bell are adopted, Shadow and Holly are spoken for, but Bubbles (right) is still available.


Bubbles is a handsome two year old Rottweiler mix who is super smart and enjoys being busy. His favorite activities are long walks in the woods and on the beach, feeder puzzles and playing fetch. If you love big, happy dogs, find our more about Bubbles on the ARL website.


Phone: 212-404-6936  •  Email: shop@pilotstotherescue.org

Return policy: all items come directly from printful and are subject to their return policy