Animals

Volunteer Pilots Are Flying Future Service Puppies Across The Country To Start Their Training

Best volunteer gig ever!

The coronavirus pandemic has brought many aspects of life as we know it to a grinding halt, including air travel, which affects not just ordinary travelers, but those for whom getting to another location is crucial for their jobs. Canine Companions for Independence provides service dogs to people with disabilities free of charge, and the organization normally relies on commercial flights to transport dogs from its base in Santa Rosa, California to temporary homes across the country, where volunteers train them to become service animals.

In the face of a major lack of available commercial flights in recent months, volunteer pilots have stepped up to bring 108 puppies to their trainers’ homes in southern California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Texas.

Martyn Lewis, Josh Hochberg and Jeff Stewart are three private pilots who fly out of an airport in Sonoma, California and have volunteered to help these dogs get to their first step in their vocations as assistance animals for people with disabilities.

“Not only are they giving their plane, but their time, their fuel,” Michelle Williams, public relations and marketing coordinator at Canine Companions for Independence, told Insider. “They’re going out for full days … it’s just incredible.”

Get a gander at these cute pups on their journey in these photos posted to Instagram by the organization on May 14: