On a recent June day, Jeff Bennett flew his four-seat plane from the mangrove-dotted Florida Keys, past some angry thunder clouds to the fertile hills of Greenville, Ala. His mission: to save 23 dogs destined for death row.
Bennett, a 53-year-old retired businessman, donates his time, fuel and plane to Pilots N Paws, a South Carolina-based charity that enlists small plane pilots to transport animals from overcrowded shelters that have high euthanasia rates to foster homes, rescue groups and less-crowded shelters that don’t kill the animals.
Bennett’s been airlifting animals for more than 3 years. Bennett is a dog lover; he has four of his own, including one that he adopted after a flight.
He’s carried mostly dogs, some cats, the occasional snake and once, a potbellied pig — earning his small Cirrus aircraft the nickname “All Species Airways” around the Pilots N Paws community…