The devastation of a natural disaster can come without warning, leaving many frantic, stuck, and unprepared. It is also during a disaster that you can see the best qualities in people come out. Volunteers rush from the comfort of their homes and do everything they can to help those in need – including animals.
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The Louisiana Coast was recently hit with terrible flooding, leaving people and animals stranded everywhere. But luckily they were not alone. While humanitarian resources gathered surviving people to safety, volunteer pilots stepped up to save the stranded pets, transporting them to safe places. And their kind act is not going unnoticed.
Theresa Ink is one saw the horrific floods in Louisiana and also felt compelled to help. Ink founded a pet clinic in Florida called PAWS of Lee County. PAWS helps pets find homes and offers low-cost spay and neutering.
“We’re going to have to help,”Ink told TODAY, recalling when she saw the floods. “I said I want to bring 50 dogs from Louisiana.â€
Transporting animals is not new to Ink, who for the past few years, has been helping relieve St. Landry Parish Animal Control, an overpopulated dog shelter near Baton Rouge, Louisiana by bringing the dogs to Florida by plane.
With the size of the flood, she knew she would need to enroll help to fly the animals out of Louisiana so she requested help from Pilots N Paws. The nonprofit group transports 15,000 shelter animals in danger of euthanization every year and has more than 5,000 volunteer pilots.
“During a natural disaster, such as the flooding in Louisiana, our mission is compounded because not only are we providing lifesaving flights for homeless animals, but we’re also freeing up desperately needed space so that pets can have safe shelter while their owners work to rebuild their lives,”said Kate Quinn, executive director of Pilot N Paws. “Taking this concern off the minds of the victims of the flooding is the least we can do,” she said.
Volunteer pilot David Murphy flew to the rescue with his father plane borrowed from another Pilots N Paws volunteer in the area. “We’re animal people,” Murphy stated. “Just wanted to help where we could.” They were a huge help and were able to transport 30 cats and dogs from Louisiana to Florida.
Pilot N Paws has plans to send more pilots to take animals from the overcrowded St. Landry Parish Animal Control in Louisiana to shelters in Florida.
“It’s truly like watching a miracle,”said Stacey Alleman-McKnight, executive director of St. Landry Parish Animal Control. “They didn’t owe these animals anything. To think, there are people out there that just want to do something good.â€
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