Rescue instructions

POSTING

Where should I post my transport request?
Post it in Ride Board. Forum software automatically notifies pilots of transport requests in their area when they are posted in Ride Board. Transport requests posted anywhere else on the forum will not generate notifications to pilots. Transport requests posted in the wrong forum will be moved or removed.
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May I post more than one request for the same transport?
Each transport request should be posted only once on the Ride Board. Sending and receiving parties should coordinate with each other to avoid posting duplicate requests for the same transport. Please do not post a new request for your transport simply because you have not received any replies to your original request, as long as the original request is still on the Ride Board.
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How often do I need to check my transport request for replies?
Check your request at least daily. In order to check it, you should log in to the forum. This is because you may receive a reply by PM (private message) that can only be seen when you log in. Do not assume you will receive an email notification of a new PM even if you have checkmarked the option in your profile to be notified of new private messages. Email notifications are not always dependable due to differing email programs and individual security settings. Never assume you have not received a reply or a private message just because you have not received a forum notification. Log in daily until your transport request is Done or Cancelled.
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My request is urgent. How can I expedite it?
Many transport requests posted on this forum are cases where the lives of animals are at risk, and pilots and admin are aware of the urgency of these situations. The best thing to do is post your request in Ride Board, provide as much information as you can, be proactive about contacting pilots (do not wait for them to contact you), also check Space on Planned Flights for scheduled flights, log in to the forum daily to check for replies, check your email daily, respond to replies from pilots promptly, and have a backup plan ready in case you do not get a flight here in time. Transports can take time to put together. If the animal is in a kill shelter in a distant city, you may need to contact a local rescue there to pull the animal and foster or board it, to allow time for transport arrangements. Posting in all caps, in red letters, using lots of exclamation marks, or putting "URGENT" in the subject line is not likely to help much. Duplicate postings will be removed by moderators.
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Should I put my email address and telephone number in my transport request?
All personal information contained in posts on the forum is publicly viewable by members and non-members alike. The forum has 2 features that allow registered members to contact you without posting your email address or telephone number publicly. These are board email and private messages (PMs). Go to your User Control Panel (upper left part of the screen), click Board Preferences, set "Users can contact me by e-mail" and "Allow users to send me private messages" to 'YES', and click SUBMIT. Email and PM icons appear in your profile and under your name on posts, which can only be used by registered members. Once a pilot has contacted you by board email or PM, you can give him or her any personal information necessary for the success of your transport. If you choose to post your email address or telephone number in a message on the public forum for the sake of expediting your transport, you may want to go back and edit it out of your post later when your transport is no longer active.
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I need a multi-leg transport. Do I post each leg in a separate message, or all the legs in one message?
Either way could be correct.
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Can 2 rescues double up on a transport?
Yes. First post your transport request on the forum. Then PM or email the person who posted a similar request and ask them. You might reply on the other thread and mention you have a similar request and put the link for your request in the reply. Then pilots reading the other request will also be aware of your need.
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How do I cancel my transport request?
On your original post click EDIT, then put a dot on the CANCEL icon and click SUBMIT. Please do this promptly as soon as you know you need to cancel. Cancelled requests will be removed from Ride Board by moderators so that pilots can focus on active requests. Thank you!
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Completed by ground-do I put DONE or CANCEL?
If your transport was completed with the help of a Pilots N Paws flight, put DONE. If it was completed any other way, please put CANCEL.
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Hooray!!! My transport is completed! Now what?
Congratulations! Please click EDIT on your original post and put a dot on the DONE icon and click SUBMIT. This signals moderators to move the topic to "Done" forum, to allow pilots to focus on active transports in Ride Board. You can also post an account of your transport, photos, video, and words of thanks to the pilot in Success Stories forum if you wish.
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FINDING AND CONTACTING PILOTS

May I contact pilots directly to request a flight?
Most pilots allow rescues to contact them directly about transports in their area. It is a good idea to be proactive and contact pilots by the methods they indicate, rather than just hoping a pilot in your area will see your request on the Ride Board. Many pilots do not check the Ride Board daily, but may be available to help if contacted.
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What is the best way to contact pilots directly?
Pilots indicate the best way to contact them in their profile, commonly by email or PM (private message). Click the pilot's profile and look for an email icon or a PM icon. You can also see these icons under the pilot's name on posts on the Ride Board. Some pilots allow other forms of contact, and if so, those will be indicated in their profile, signature line, or the body of a message.
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Why should I email or PM pilots if they're automatically notified anyway?
The forum software allows pilots to sign up for automatic notification of transport requests in their area, however not all pilots choose to receive automatic notifications.
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What should I put in my email subject line so pilots know it's a transport request?
Put 'Pilots N Paws' or 'PNP' in your subject line so pilots will know it is a transport request. Please include this in the subject lines of all subsequent emails as well.
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How do I find pilots along my flight route?
After you post your transport request on Ride Board, you will see colored links at the top of your post. Click More Mapping Options to get a list of pilots along your flight route. Names of the pilots are listed on the left side of the screen. Click the name of a pilot and a bubble will appear with a link to the pilot's profile (where contact information is given) along with a link to send the pilot a private message through the forum. Also be sure to check Space on Planned Flights for scheduled flights along your flight route.
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Is there a way to find pilots by zip code?
Yes, you can look them up by city and state or by zip code using this form.
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Should I only contact pilots near the starting point of the flight?
You may contact pilots anywhere along your flight route. The round trip for pilots will be about the same distance regardless of where they are based, whether they start near the departure point, near the destination, or somewhere in between.
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How do I know if a pilot read the PM (private message) I sent?
If the PM is still in your Outbox, it has not been read yet.
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I sent emails/private messages to several pilots but got no replies. Should I email/PM them again?
Please don't. Sending floods of duplicate messages to pilots will not help your cause and may discourage pilots from allowing direct contact. Please be considerate and assume that if you have not heard back from a pilot, he or she simply cannot assist with your transport right now.
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What's the best way to email multiple pilots?
If you are sending the email through the email icon in the pilot's profile, you can only email that pilot. (For security reasons, the message is sent through a PNP email account to that pilot. Your email address will show and if the pilot chooses to reply, then you will see his or her email address.) We suggest you copy & paste your message when emailing each pilot. However, you can PM multiple pilots in one message if you know their member names.
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How do I send a private message (PM) to multiple pilots?
You can view a video of instructions on how to send a PM to all the pilots along a route here.
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How can I find locations for airports the pilots list, like 8A6 or BGE or KFDK?
Click here to look them up.
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How do I find temp foster or ground support?
Check in Other Volunteer Offers forum, or look them up by city and state or zip code using this form, or find them on this map.
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How can I make a good impression on pilots?
Stay on top of things. Here is an example from a real transport where the rescue received praise from a pilot. Rescue posted the transport request 5:15am, Pilot1 replied 6:25am, Rescue replied 6:40am, Pilot2 replied 7:18am, Pilot3 replied 7:21am, Rescue replied 7:22am, Pilot4 (talr) replied 8:25am with this observation: "thank you for being on top of things. Sometimes new senders/receivers post here and not respond quickly, as a pilot I can tell you it's very concerning. Will they be on top of things the day of the flight? Will the animals be ready on time? And so on. So thanks for that."
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FLIGHT

I need a long distance transport, what are the chances of success?
Long distance transports are possible but require more coordination than short transports. Private planes do not normally fly across country like commercial jets. Private pilots usually only fly about 300 nautical miles and should not be expected to land and refuel and continue on. There are exceptions, but this is a guideline. Long transports need to be broken down into legs of about 300 miles each. This requires pilots to coordinate their schedules and meet at airports to transport the pet on the next leg. The longer the flight, the more connections needed. You must allow for contingencies such as weather delays or mechanical problems, so you should arrange temporary foster for the animal at each connecting point in case of an unexpected layover. Ground transport or commercial air transport will be better alternatives for many long distance transports.
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How does commercial airline transport compare to PNP transport?
Click here to learn more about commercial airline transport and how it compares to Pilots N Paws transport.
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How do I prepare the pet for the flight?
It is recommended that you do not feed the animal being transported the morning of the flight. Water is fine, feeding takes place on the receiving end. DO NOT bring an animal covered in ticks and fleas to a pilot for boarding. Please bathe pets if needed, because our pilots take pride in their aircraft and they cannot open a window once they are airborne. Please have the necessary paperwork that is accompanying the animal and a collar and leash supplied. Some pilots will want the pet to be crated. A rabies certificate and a health certificate are recommended. Check the requirements for each state the flight will pass through. Click here for more information.
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How young is too young to fly?
Check with your vet. Waiting until puppies are 4 weeks old is the optimum. Sometimes this just isn't possible if you need to move young puppies now in order for them to escape being euthanized. You need to be sure the puppies' temperatures are maintained, since they are not able to regulate their body temperature until about 4 weeks.
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What types of animals does Pilots N Paws fly?
Our pilot volunteers have flown dogs, cats, bunnies, a potbellied pig, baby chicks, parrots, rats, mice, hawks, a crow, a bald eagle, pythons, boas, lizards, a piglet, a 35 lb African tortoise, and many other animals.
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Do you offer medical flights?
Many pilots will fly animals that are in poor health, elderly, or disabled, with the approval of a veterinarian.
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I need to fly a breed that is not allowed on commercial airlines. Are PNP pilots willing to help me?
This would be up to the individual pilot. Airlines make rules that must be imposed no matter what the circumstances. There are no prohibitions for specific breeds, but again, that's up to the pilot.
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Will my rescue animal be flown in a pressurized and temperature controlled cabin?
Most Pilots N Paws flights take place in small, unpressurized aircraft. These do not operate at altitudes that require pressurization. The animal will be in the same cabin as the pilot, so should suffer no ill effects from the atmosphere.
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Commercial airlines are very restrictive about flying pets in hot weather. Are PNP pilots the same way?
Airlines put pets with the luggage, and leave them unattended for long periods of time. A PNP pilot will likely be accompanying the animal the whole time, so this should not be a problem. Again, the animal will be travelling under the same conditions as the pilot.
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Can I ride with the animal during the transport?
That would be up to the pilot, but if the pilot must fly somewhere to pick up the animal, he or she may not be returning to the same place, leaving you stranded at another airport, or imposing on the pilot to fly you home.
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I'm adopting a shelter pet on PetFinder. Would a pilot get it from the shelter and bring it to me?
If the pilot keeps his or her plane at the closest airport to the shelter, it may be possible. In the majority of cases, the pilot is flying to the airport to pick up the animal and would not have an automobile available to drive to the shelter and pick up the animal. It is generally the requester's responsibility to get the animal to the airport.
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I need a pet flown to me from a breeder, can you help?
Pilots N Paws transports rescue animals. We do not transport animals that people are purchasing from breeders. Please contact a commercial airline service to assist you.
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I need an animal flown in from overseas, can you help?
Pilots N Paws does not deal with international transports. You should check into international pet transport companies. They will cost more, but they know the regulations & handle all the transfers, details, etc.
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What are nautical miles and knots?
Pilots think in terms of nautical miles and knots, rather than miles of distance and miles per hour. A nautical mile is longer than a statute mile (1 NM=1.15 miles) and a knot is 1 nautical mile per hour, so 100 nautical miles is farther than 100 statute miles, and 100 knots is faster than 100 mph.
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Should I offer to reimburse pilots for their services?
Pilots N Paws flights are donated by pilots, there is no fee. The majority of volunteer pilots are private pilots and are restricted to non-commercial operations. There are some pilots who can accept reimbursement, so it's best to ask the pilot.
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How do I protect dogs from overheating during transports?
Click here to learn how to protect dogs from overheating during transport.
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