Pilots N Paws®

How one shop is always looking to give back.

Pilots N Paws®
Originally published on:
Think dogs can’t fly? Judi and Dana Haglin take to the friendly skies to bring dogs to their new fur-ever homes.

Judi Haglin runs Haglin Automotive alongside her husband, Dana.

And whether they’re in the shop or out of the shop, they’re always looking for ways they can give back.

One of their favorite efforts is volunteering with Pilots N Paws®, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that rescues puppies by flying them to be adopted.

Over the years, they've saved over 200 puppies.

Judi: Dana got his private pilot license when he was in school.

And after we got married, we were looking at buying a second house. We decided to build our home in the hangar, and eventually Dana got his airplane.

Giving back to the community is extremely important to us. Through the years, we’ve donated several vehicles to Justice High School for the highest achiever, and each Spring have sponsored an Erie High School student to participate in the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Camp.

Naturally, Dana started to look for additional volunteer opportunities. 

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And once he came across Pilots N Paws®, it was a no-brainer. Dogs, flying, and giving back? It was the perfect combination for him. 

The volunteer pilots rescue dogs that are in kill shelters; typically in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and some other outlying areas. Kill shelters always have terrible, sad stories. So whenever Dana gets a call to go and save some puppies and dogs, he hops in our plane, hits the runway, and takes off to go get ‘em.  

It’s basically an air shuttle. Dana will fly to whichever state is assigned to him, get the dog(s), and he’ll either bring them back to meet their new forever home, or he’ll bring them to the Rocky Mountain Dog Rescue here in Colorado. 

For his first rescue mission, he had a batch of puppies. He ended up flying them home to our house in Boulder and we played with them in our yard. We decided to not bring them to our house for future missions because we would end up keeping all of them. Our house would end up being a farm full of puppies. 

We’ve done missions for the sweetest Great Pyrenees that belonged to a family that could no longer care for him, and for a two-week old puppy litter. They were in a basket in the airplane and I got to bottle feed them on the plane ride back. We also got to rescue a pregnant mama from a kill shelter and she delivered her puppies three days after the rescue mission. 

We’ve been dog people for a long time. We have two Golden Retrievers and a Bernese Mountain Dog. We’ve saved over 200 puppies.

If Dana had his way, he’d keep all of the puppies we’ve rescued. 

About Pilots N Paws® 

The Pilots N Paws® website serves as a meeting place for volunteers engaged in the valuable services of rescuing, sheltering and adopting animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with animal transportation. The intent of Pilots N Paws® is to provide an environment in which volunteers can come together and arrange or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter, and all other related activities.

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