The story of Chella Phillips, a one woman army in Nassau, Bahamas who took in 100 dogs off the street and into her home during Hurricane Dorian is an inspiration to all of us small rescue organizations. What one person can do when they open their hearts is a reminder of the inherent good in all men and women. There will always be naysayers, people who question your judgment, your dedication, people who try to bring what you do down. Chella reminds us that even in the face of adversity the imprint you leave on those around you, even those people you never will know, is something that can change the world.
20 of Chella’s dogs, the very dogs she brought off the street and into her home made their way to Florida two days ago. We got a call from an incredible rescue partner up North, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Inc., who posed a huge question. Can PAART fly down and get these 20 dogs and bring them to a new life in East Hampton, NY. The flight would be 15 plus hours door to door in our plane. We had to find another way. As a plan was unfolding a donor stepped up to offer assistance. The Irving and Phyllis Millstein Foundation offered to help pay for us charter a bigger faster plane for the mission.
With a plan set, we turned to our landlord and friends at Corporate Air, LLC. with a huge request. Can we take one of your jets for this mission? Sure, we can do that PAART and we will do it at cost. Great…oh one more thing, can we put PAART Pilot Jonathan Plesset in the co-pilot seat instead of one of your pilots and let him fly a jet for the first time so we have enough room for all the dogs? There was a long period of silence at this point which we have edited out 🙂 Sure guys as long as you do some training beforehand we can make that happen.
PAART Pilots Jonathan and newcomer Timothy Hugh Barrett departed for Florida where a team from the Halifax Humane Society, Inc., who took these dogs in with no notice as we waited to arrange the flight, were waiting with an entire team to help. All 20 dogs were loaded up and the guys flew north the West Hampton, LI where the animals were taken to find their furever homes.
The teamwork displayed here was inspiring. Groups rallying to support each other, to go the extra mile, to move mountains to pull this off, all for one woman whose dedication to animals changed us all. Chella, if you are reading this, this mission was for you.