Press: “Chesterfield 22″

THIRD ANNUAL PILOTS N PAWS AWARENESS EVENT
PILOTS N PAWS MEMORIAL RESCUE FLIGHTS
Memorial Rescue Flight Dedicated to the “Chesterfield 22” Set for September 17, 2011

Landrum, S.C. (August 17,2011) – On September 17, 2011, Pilots N Paws, will relocate150–200 animals from South Carolina to their new forever homes in Washington D.C., Florida, New Jersey, New York and Georgia. This Memorial Rescue Flight is dedicated to the “Chesterfield 22”— twenty-two dogs that were needlessly shot to death in Chesterfield, South Carolina in March.

Pilots N Paws is a national program that gives animals a second chance one flight at a time. This unique program brings together planes, pilots and shelters to rescue and transport dogs (and other animals) from overcrowded shelters, relocating them to organizations committed to finding them homes.

Of the thousands of rescue flights Pilots N Paws has made since its inception, the 3rd Annual Awareness Rescue Flight is an acute reminder of why Pilots N Paws exists. In March of this year, Deborah Farhi, a volunteer with the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter in South Carolina, noticed many of the dogs in the shelter were missing. Upon questioning, shelter volunteers accused four local animal control officers of shooting 22 of the dogs in their care to death instead of euthanizing them through the approved, humane methods.

Shortly thereafter, Farhi uncovered 2 of these dogs, each shot in the head, from a shallow landfill across the street from the shelter. Sheriff Sam Parker, who oversees animal control, put all four officers on leave, and within weeks the state attorney general asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to begin investigating the allegations. Today, the case against Chesterfield County is still under investigation.

To honor the 22 animals that lost their lives in March, this year’s Memorial Rescue Flights will bring together 45 pilots and their planes in an effort to save at least 150-200 dogs from several South Carolina counties, including Chesterfield. Other volunteer pilots across the country will join in the event by making a memorial rescue flight in their area on September 17. The rescue flights will start on Saturday, September 17 at 6:30 a.m. at the Florence Regional Airport in South Carolina (www.florencescairport.com). In case of inclement weather, the flights will be postponed until Sunday, September 18.

Pilots N Paws will be joined by two dedicated sponsors, Subaru and Petmate, who continue to be proud partners with Pilots N Paws.

Last last year’s 2nd annual Awareness Flyway, was held on September 18, 2010, in New Orleans. Hundreds of volunteers—both pilots and rescues—came together to change the lives of 171 animals after they were displaced due to the oil spill. With 22 planes on the ground at the New Orleans Lakefront airport, many adoptable dogs were successfully sent on their way to find a new family to love.

For more information about the 3rd Annual Pilots N Paws Awareness Rescue Flights, please contact Jennifer Skiff at jenniferskiff@yahoo.com .

About Pilots N Paws

Since the program began in February 2008, pilots have donated their time, planes and fuel to fly thousands of dogs from shelters where they faced almost certain death. Some areas of the country are more likely to have overcrowded shelters and limited adoption opportunities. At www.pilotsnpaws.org, pilots can learn about animals in need and work directly with shelters and rescue groups to coordinate transportation. More than 7,000 shelters and rescues, along with 2,000 volunteer pilots are registered on the site.

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