LOS ANGELES - Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane-- it’s a plane full of rescue dogs?
Paul Steklenski is an Army veteran and a hobby pilot. Now he runs a nonprofit, flying shelter dogs in danger of being euthanized to new homes.
In 2013, Paul began taking pilot lessons. That same year, he adopted his rescue dog, Tessa. She would come up to Pennsylvania on a van from Tennessee. That’s how he got the idea to start Flying Fur Animal Rescue.
Similar groups take animals out of shelters and transport them across state lines to no-kill shelters that can foster them until adoption. But with a plane, Paul can travel much more efficiently-- and bring a much bigger group.
Paul bought his own $70,000 aircraft. He also spends about $1,000 of his own money on his monthly trips-- and the investment has paid off. Flying Fur Animal Rescue has helped over 700 dogs since they began operating in 2015. Paul plans to keep saving animals-- one rescue flight at a time.