Wings Of Rescue is an animal transport charity that flies animals from shelters with high-intake rates to no-kill shelters in other areas that have waiting lists for adoptable pets. The program, which utilizes Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, is always looking for qualified pilots to transport the animals to their new homes. Some of the pets that are pulled from the original shelters for transport are already scheduled for euthanasia and have only hours left to live.
Los Angeles-based First Officer Alexei Tsekoun started flying for Wings Of Rescue in 2015, and is an ardent supporter of its mission. “I’ve always been very passionate about animals,” Alexei said. “They may not be human, but we’re saving their lives. Without bringing them to another area, they would be put down.”
Alexi later introduced fellow Compass pilot Cassandra Shultz to the organization. Cassandra, an animal lover who had always wanted to fly the Pilatus PC-12, knew immediately that Wings of Rescue would be a perfect fit for her. “Interacting with animals is important to me, but I don’t have a pet because I’m always traveling for work,” Cassandra explains. “I knew that this would be an opportunity for me to combine two things that I love – animals and flying.”
Alexei says that his most memorable experience thus far with Wings of Rescue was the time that he few a large, injured dog to Seattle. “It really sticks in my mind, because of the medical attention that it needed,” he recalled. “It was such a large dog, and severely abused. Its leg was broken and in a cast.” He was relieved that he was taking this dog away from a situation where it was being abused to a new life where it could receive the love that it deserved.
Cassandra’s most memorable rescue was the first one that she participated in. During that trip, she transported around 90 dogs and cats from Salt Lake City to just outside of Denver. In addition to encountering some of the worst weather she’d ever experienced as a pilot, the trip was also incredibly eye-opening. In a post on Wings of Rescue’s blog, she relates how the importance of her mission really sank in when she realized that all of the animals that she was transporting were scheduled for euthanasia. “This wasn’t about my love for cute things or flying cool airplanes. This was immensely more meaningful. This was about salvation.”
Wings Of Rescue is always looking for pilots qualified to fly PC-12 aircraft to help transport animals. However, Alexei points out that there are many other ways that non-pilots can help out. “They always need help loading and unloading the animals on flights, cleaning cages, and even donating money can help. Flying BC-12s around the country isn’t exactly cheap.” One of the easiest ways to give is by shopping on Amazon via Wings of Rescue’s AmazonSmile link. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Wings Of Rescue.
For more information on how you can get involved, click here.