Lifestyle & Human Interest

2 Pilots Fly Over 1500 Miles To Save 20+ Dogs at Kill Shelter with Only Hours Left To Live


People urge each other to follow their passions all the time, but I bet few have pursued their desires as purposefully as Dan Weecks and Peyton Lindbloom.

See, both men are private pilots who care about the plight of unwanted dogs. So when they learned about the impending death of more than two-score pooches, they sprang into action.

According to a YouTube video shared by Weecks, their adventure started when the Mesa, Arizona, shelter Follow Your Heart learned about 23 puppies in a shelter in Mobile, Alabama. The dogs were scheduled to be euthanized due to overcrowding.

That’s a sad situation, one all too common in animal shelters across the nation. But what could an organization in the Grand Canyon State do about it?

After all, Alabama was some 1,500 miles away. Still, rather than sit on their hands, Follow Your Heart reached out to Weecks and Lindbloom to see if they could help.

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Weecks had flown from Scottsdale, Arizona, to Page, Arizona, the month prior to pick up nine puppies slated for death, but this was a rescue mission of entirely different intensity.

Still, the pair of pilots jumped on board, powering up their small plane at 6 a.m. on Nov.1, 2017, for the flight. Not only would the flight cover a great deal of distance, but it would also cost a pretty penny.

Weecks reported that the flight’s expenses ran $6,901.51, all of which he initially paid for out of pocket. Lindbloom chipped in, as did Follow Your Heart Animal Rescue and Third Coast Animal Rescue.

“All of these dogs are deemed unadoptable,” Cheryl Edwards of Third Coast Animal Rescue told WALA-TV. “This lovely rescue is going to take care of that, and we couldn’t be more thankful.”

The rescue was significant not just for the distance the pilots traveled but also for the large number of doggy lives they saved.

The Alabama shelter had slated 23 dogs for execution, and most of them were puppies.

Weecks and Lindbloom changed all that, and their actions had a lasting impact on more than just the canines.

“Since Peyton and I are both pilots, we decided to do this,” Weecks said.

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“It’s the right thing to do, so that’s why we are here. That’s why we are rescuing dogs, and we hope with continued support we can continue to save lives.”

That’s exactly what they’ve done. Weecks ended up creating a YouTube series called Puppy Pilots where he chronicled his aeronautical attempts to save other doggos.

The Arizona Daily Sun also reported that Weecks has worked with Mountain Girl Rescue. The Arizona nonprofit transports shelter dogs to foster homes before it adopts them out to permanent owners in Canada.

Weecks has handled transport duties, which includes ensuring they fly under humane conditions.

“If you went into any Humane Society, it’s the same quality of service,” he said.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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