During the winter of 2014 the PAART team was notified of a dire situation involving 30 animals that needed immediate transport. With the threat of icing and bad weather looming large during the winter months, and the cost of renting a larger plane to perform this mission costing over $5000, the team took its first step into ground rescue by renting a cargo van and sending two of our pilots on the road. The mission was a success and the PAART land rescue was born. In order to build this new division within PAART the team needed to find ways to raise the capital needed to fund the purchase of a permanent addition to the team, our very own mobile rescue vehicle or “landplane.”
Over the winter months the team did a mission for the the television program Inside Edition. Right before the mission the team received word from television personality and animal lover Rachael Ray that she was interested in making a $25,000 donation. With that funding in place the team purchased a 2015 Ford Transit Van. The van was outfitted to transport up to 70 animals at a time and wrapped to look like an airplane. The landplane was now operational and the land missions became a reality. The team embarked on its first missions, transporting 68 animals 1200 miles to North Shore Animal League America. Over the coming months the landplane would become the backbone of the PAART operation with its ability to transport large numbers of animals over great distances without regard to the weather conditions that would normally ground our air-fleet.
The Landplane is the first in our fleet and the team has plans to expand the fleet with the addition of another landplane in the coming months.