Woody, a five year old Great Pyrenees, took a trip in an airplane recently. This wasn’t just any flight however, it was a freedom flight. And he was so happy and thankful to be taking it. Woody had a rough start to life after being discovered on the street in North Carolina and then spending time inside of a local shelter. He was discovered to have a bad case of mange, heartworm, and other health issues that meant he needed costly medical care. So, the shelter placed him on a list to be euthanized. That’s when the LaMancha Animal Rescue stepped in to save Woody.
The group, however, had a small issue: Woody was in North Carolina and he needed to be transported to Unionville, Pennsylvania to their facility. So, a man named Paul Steklenski jumped in to help—and that involved his airplane. Paul is the founder of a group called Flying Fur Animal Rescue, and he has spent three years transporting over 1,000 animals from crowded kill shelters in North Carolina to rescues all over the Northeast of the United States.
Paul was inspired to start the rescue after adopting his dog Tessa and realizing how efficient it was to us an airplane to transport dogs in need. So, when Woody needed transport, Paul’s plane was full of crates and Woody weighs 84 pounds so it was a difficult balance of weight in the plane. Woody got a comfy spot in the back, but after takeoff, he made it known he wanted to be Paul’s copilot. Woody became friendly with Paul and his actual copilot/cameraman and just smiled and gazed out the window in between naps. His sweet, calm demeanor was just perfect for the flight as the encountered some bad weather on their journey, but all was well in the end. Now, Woody is on the road to recovery and will hopefully be adopted into a family soon.