Military Veteran Pilot flies rescue dogs to new foster homes - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Military Veteran Pilot flies rescue dogs to new foster homes


Two dogs got a ride in an airplane Sunday that helped save their lives.

Military veteran, Darin Hostetler, with Pilots N Paws helped transport the two rescue dogs to their new foster homes.

As soon as his plane stopped on the tarmac at Atlantic Aviation in South Bend, a 9 month old Belgian malinois named Fergie popped her head up and looked through the plane's window.

Hostetler said, "I couldn't ask for a better companion to travel with."

Sunday he brought Fergie to meet Janet Graham, who was also a part of the dog's journey.

"I'm gonna transport her to Portage, IN and meet another transporter and she's gonna pick her up and take her to her foster home," said Graham.

After handing Fergie over to Graham, Hostetler also picked up 5 month old Liberty from Lisa Doan.  "Liberty is extremely withdrawn she came out of a very neglectful situation," said Doan.

Hostetler is flying Liberty to a foster home north of Traverse City, Michigan.

The military veteran first heard about Pilots N Paws last November while in Khandahar, Afghanistan and had to get involved in the transports.  Today was his first one.

But this isn't a first for South Bend, Graham says dozens of dogs are transported through this area each month.  "Unfortunately there are too many animals out there compared to homes for them," said Graham.

That's why the network of volunteers that drive and fly these dogs to their new homes is so important.  Without them Graham said, "there'd be a lot more animals being euthanized."

As the owner of two rescue dogs himself, Hostetler says it's a no brainer for why he's willing to fly dogs across the Midwest.  "I'm going to fly anyway might as well help somebody else out in the process get to a decent home," said Hostetler.

Hostetler isn't the only one involved in today's transport who owns a rescue dog.

Doan also owns one and Graham said she ended up adopting a dog she once transported.


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