Each year, Messinger, donates his time, his fuel and his airplane to fly thousands of miles as a volunteer pilot with Pilots N Paws to rescue abused and abandoned dogs. Flying from his home airport in Pennsylvania to. Louisiana Messinger provides free transportation to Dog Rescues.
“Often these Rescues have little money, and have no way to transport their dogs to safety.” Messinger explains, "That's where we come in.”
Time is of the essence, because by the time a dog is turned into County Animal Control, they usually have just 4 days to live. Due to overpopulation in the shelters, many animals are euthanatized in just a few days. And if you are unlucky enough to be a large black dog; you may be put down the same day. Nobody seems to want big black dogs, says Messinger.
“We often get a desperate call from a small town rescue, pleading for an immediate flight because the dogs they are trying to save will be killed the very next day.” “When that happens we drop everything, do some quick flight planning and RUN to the airport.”
According to Messinger, 15,000 dogs are put down each day in towns all across America. That comes to a startling 5 million animals needlessly killed every single year. Through his membership in Pilots N Paws, an organization consisting of over 1,000 dedicated pilots and animal lovers, Messinger says he hopes to help save as many dogs as possible. “We can't save the world he admits, but we have flown more than 1,000 dogs to safety and we have no plans on stopping."
"Shelter dogs are simply good dogs who have had bad luck,” says Messinger. “And we are seeing more and more owner “turn-ins” due to the poor economy.”