By Linda Cole
Where would we be without the dedicated truckers who move products and food all around the country? No matter where you live, trucks deliver anything and everything to communities and businesses. Operation Roger is a nonprofit organization made up of long haul and regional truckers who use their trucks to transport a very precious cargo – homeless pets – to new locations around the country.
America has always been a country made up of people with a “can do” spirit that never wavers. After Hurricane Katrina swept across the Gulf Coast in 2005 devastating the area, one pet loving trucker wanted to do something to help pets left homeless by Katrina. The only thing she could think of was to use her truck to help transport shelter pets from the area to give them a better chance of finding a new home.
Sue Wiese had the courage to go on a trucker’s radio show to ask if any truck drivers would consider moving pets in their rigs to new locations across the country. She was surprised to discover that yes, they would. So on September 16, 2005, Operation Roger…Truckers Pet Transport was created. It’s a nonprofit organization that moves shelter pets and pets from rescue groups to new homes no matter where they are.
By Linda Cole
Nonprofit organizations across the country help pets in a variety of ways. Pilots N Paws is an online organization with a unique transporting program that has given rescue organizations, shelters and people who foster pets the ability to move unwanted and homeless pets to locations around the country where a new home is hopefully waiting for the pet. Pilots and plane owners who want to help improve the chances that a pet can find a forever home are offering their planes and time. They fly pets from an area where there’s little chance a pet can be placed in a home, to another area where the pet’s chances of being adopted are much better. Pilots are also flying pets who have been adopted to their new homes around the country. Pilots who want to help rescue shelter pets can get together with shelters and rescue organizations to plan their own special way of saving a pet’s life.
Pilots N Paws is a volunteer organization that doesn’t ask for donations. It’s a website that was started by Debi Boies who was involved in Doberman rescue in upstate South Carolina and her friend, Jon Wehrenberg, a pilot, who had volunteered to fly a rescued Doberman from Florida to Debi’s home in South Carolina. After the flight, the two began to discuss the need for a better way of moving homeless pets across the country besides the traditional way of setting up car transports. They began on February 8, 2008 with their first official life-saving flight. To date, the volunteer pilots number over 1,800 and there are 8,100 registered users with more registering every day who use the Pilots N Paws website to connect with each other. Debi and Jon are shooting for 10,000 pilots to make sure there are enough planes to transport homeless pets wherever they need to go to help them find a new home.