Pilots N Paws again ‘rises to the occasion’ for homeless animals

Annabelle is a boxer who was dumped on an arbitrary street far from home after having been bred, again and again. Annabelle is a victim of a backyard breeder, used solely for profit-making purposes. Little to no care was given to her while she made lots of money for her humans.

Annabelle was thrown out by her family (Source: Karla Solis)

Boxers seem to be popular in this neck of the woods, but Annabelle was too old to continue serving her humans’ selfish needs – i.e., producing “goods.” In a cost-benefit analysis narrative, it was time for Annabelle to stop taking up space in her humans’ yard and lives. Her skeletal frame was dumped. A dastardly act, indeed.

Karla Solis and her friend rescued Annabelle upon finding her laying in the streets. They learned she lay in that same place for quite awhile. So weak, the emaciated girl could barely stand. Karla whisked her to the vet. She was suffering from a myriad of illnesses. It was a miracle she was alive, given the numbers on her first blood panel.

Annabelle came under the care of Crossing Guardians. As she was recuperating, Annabelle was networked for private adoption, or a rescue-to-rescue transfer. Placing an animal is often one of the toughest parts of rescue work, as most organizations are full and over-extended. Placing Annabelle was quick, however, relatively speaking. Crossing Guardians was connected with a boxer rescue in Northern California by Chela Landau.

Once a rescue was found, the other difficult part of rescue was being addressed; that is, working out logistics in getting pets to their destination. It can be a very complicated and time-consuming process – as was the case with Annabelle.

Rita Benavidez, Founder of Hank’s Hostel Fur Hounds, referred Crossing Guardians to Valerie Berg, a skillful pilot and compassionate animal-lover, who also happened to be a member pilot of Pilots N Paws (“PNP”), a nonprofit organization. PNP’s “About” page states, in part, that:

Our site is intended to be a meeting place for volunteers engaged in the valuable services of rescuing, sheltering and adopting animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with animal transportation. The intent of Pilots N Paws is to provide an environment in which volunteers can come together and arrange or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter, and all other related activities.

Crossing Guardians contacted Berg, who was more than happy to fly Annabelle from San Diego to Fresno Calif. Plans were made and dates were set. Berg, and a “little helper” (as Berg described her) – Haley Krueger – and Haley’s mom, Debra Krueger, accompanied Berg to Fresno. The trio did the transport of Annabelle to Fresno on July 10.

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Unfortunately, the rescue-to-rescue transfer didn’t work out. Annabelle did arrive in Fresno, but her stint there was short-lived; nearly 3 weeks to be precise.

It is Crossing Guardians‘ policy to never “wipe its hands clean” of the animals placed – even when it is with another rescue organization. If it doesn’t work out, Crossing Guardians will welcome them back.*  The decisions made by humans on behalf of animals determine their fate. Animals are literally at the mercy of humans. It’s that simple.

Once again, Crossing Guardians reached out to Berg and explained the situation with respect to Annabelle. Despite her extremely heavy schedule, Berg didn’t hesitate. She, too, agreed that Annabelle should come back and was happy to oblige. After hours of logistical planning, a date was set for Berg to pick up Annabelle in Fresno and bring her back to San Diego.

On the afternoon of July 27, Crossing Guardians sat at the Montgomery Field Airport and watched as Tom Hufford – with Berg beside him and Annabelle in tow – navigate the plane in front of his hanger.

Crossing Guardians‘ first experience with PNP was back in 2011 (which was actually years before Crossing Guardians was formed as a nonprofit entity). The pet in need of transport was a pit bull mix – then named Shimmer. She was quickly deteriorating in a dog pound that was essentially little more than a shed-like structure in Crescent City, which is in the upper northwestern part of California, about 20 miles south of Portland.

Sue Clark with PNP volunteered to get her out of that cold dank place and transport her to Los Angeles. Today, Shimmer (now named Beatriz), lives happily with Annie Psaltiras and her family. They adore her.

Shimmer, now named Beatriz, was transported to Los Angeles by Sue Clark with PNP

As for Annabelle, everyone involved in her rescue breathed a huge sigh of relief when she finally made it safely back in a home environment and familiar surroundings. She will need one more booster vaccines, surgery and rehab. Once healed, she will again be ready for adoption or a rescue-to-rescue transfer.

Pilots N Paws does wonderful work. The services the pilots provide is invaluable to the rescue community. Crossing Guardians would like to give a special shout-out to Valerie Berg. She was the hero in this particular endeavor.

Anyone interested in donating to PNP so it can continue carrying on its mission of saving the lives of animals is asked to visit their donate page.


* Caveat: If the animal has been adopted from a rescue organization after the rescue-to-rescue transfer is complete, then it is the receiving rescue’s responsibility to see to the well-being of the adopted animal.

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