Volunteer Pilots Transport Future Service Dogs

A yellow puppy and black puppy sitting in front of planeWhile the coronavirus pandemic has limited flights for many, it hasn’t stopped national nonprofit Canine Companions from transporting its future service dog puppies. Volunteer pilots have made it possible for some adorable Canine Companions puppies to fly more luxuriously than most of us ever will – on private planes.

Canine Companions, the nation’s leading provider of free service dogs for people with disabilities, typically relies on commercial airlines to transport young puppies to their volunteer puppy raisers across the country who provide care for them and begin their training. When the coronavirus pandemic made that increasingly difficult, Canine Companions looked to private pilots for help and they stepped up in a big way, allowing the mission to continue.

In 2020, 12 private pilots flew more than 265 Canine Companions puppies from Northern California’s Sonoma Jet Center, near the nonprofit’s National Headquarters, to their volunteer puppy raisers throughout the United States. And the generosity continues this year.

“We are so grateful to all the pilots, staff and volunteers who are helping our puppies get to their volunteer puppy raisers during this unprecedented time,” says Canine Companions CEO Paige Mazzoni. “At times like these, it is wonderful to see the goodness and kindness in people who want to help however they can.”

Disability doesn’t stop in times of crisis, and Canine Companions still has over 400 people waiting to be placed with an expertly trained service dog. Even in these uncertain times, the Canine Companions mission is still in motion. Generous volunteers and supporters are crucial to helping the puppies of today become the service dogs of tomorrow. Learn how you can give a dog a job at canine.org.

Check out these stories:

Young Pilot Volunteers to Fly Canine Companions Puppies From NorCal to Carlsbad

People Magazine: Volunteer Pilots Rush to Help Puppies in Training Take the Next Step to Becoming Service Dogs

CNN10 Highlights

Puppies training to be service dogs take flight thanks to help from Santa Rosa pilot

Cute Puppies Arrive in Dallas to Begin Service Dog Training

Trained service puppies get a private flight to Colorado

Airplane full of puppies lands at Bradley

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