From Fox 22’s On the Point:
PITTSBURGH — It happens outside an airplane hangar at the Allegheny County Airport, dozens of dogs arriving from Memphis, Tenn.
This live rescue mission is the work of a local organization made up of volunteers.
“There are a lot of logistics involved,” PAART Executive Director Mary Withrow says.
The Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team saves over a thousand animals per year, removing them from difficult situations, transporting them to Pittsburgh and then handing them over to various shelters in the northeast.
This animal rescue team was founded by two Pittsburgh pilots, Brad Childs and Jonathan Plesset. The pair used their own resources to start conducting rescue missions in the air, gaining non-profit status in 2012. But recently the organization has been confined to missions on the ground, using their animal rescue van while they wait for a new plane.
The wait will not take long. The national attention the group has received made its way to celebrity animal lover Rachael Ray. Her pet food company, Nutrish, has now committed to a large donation which will fund a new plane, set to arrive in late August.
“It’ll really help us do a lot more because we’ll be able to go a lot further and get some more animals on the plane than we used to before,” Withrow told 22 The Point.
“We’re super excited and it feels like we’re really growing.”
Plesset was recently a guest on “Issues On The Point,” explaining the early days of his organization and what the financial support from Rachael Ray means.