Animals are in danger all over the world. Each day thousands of animals are put down for reasons as simple as a lack of space. Our team is the last chance for these animals. When we are asked to help we have two primary determinators for how far we can travel.
First and foremost the comfort and safety of our animals is the most important factor in deciding how far our teams can travel. Missions that take place on the ground are often times much longer but require frequent breaks for the animals and our drivers. A lot of times we send the team the day before so they can rest up in a hotel overnight. Once the Landplanes are rolling with animals on board they cannot stop overnight so our distance needs to factor in changing drivers when they are fatigued. Air missions are vital and our continued push for larger planes is due to the advantages in time and distance we can cover in the air. During an air mission a pilot can cover the distance between our headquarters in Pittsburgh and as far southwest as Texas in around 7 to 8 hours. Our pilots typically fly for three hours at a time before landing for fuel. Just like on the ground, once the plane is loaded with animals we cannot stop overnight so the mission has to be completed with the day it begins.
The second consideration for the distance we can cover is costs. Our teams offer our service free of charge to both the sender and receiver. The organization is 100% funded from private donations. In order to keep the lights on we have to be selective in the missions and focus on maximizing our very limited resources. Typically the longer the distance the more animals we need to be helping to justify the costs. Our goal is to continue to grow while helping the most animals possible. We started with about 50 animals per year and have grown to help thousands each year.