It’s easy to read or hear that 3 to 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year, and lament a flawed animal control system. Taking a more active approach, a group of pet-loving pilots recognized how they can help shelter animals and established a unique organization that offers an "over-ground railroad" for pets.
Licensed pilots like Steve Hall have carried thousands of dogs and cats from the Southeast U.S. to the North in an attempt to promote pet adoption and spare a few lives, CBS News reports.
To date, more than 1,000 pilots have joined the pet rescue volunteer group, Pilots-N-Paws. The organization was established in response to a recent survey which found that 68 percent of animals in shelters in the country’s southeast region are euthanized.
Pilots-N-Paws volunteers noted that there are far more no-kill shelters in the North.
The program has also allowed a few of the pilots to bond with the dogs, cats, pigs and bunnies they ferry along the Atlantic seaboard. Hall became so attached to a pup named Brutus, the dog still lives with him today.
The U.S. Humane Society estimates that 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year.