An Army veteran bought a plane so he could fly shelter dogs to foster homes
We all have causes that are near and dear to our hearts, right?! Well, an Army veteran bought a plane to fly shelter dogs to foster homes, reported Today. Okay, we could NOT love this story more! Paul Steklenski of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, is the Army veteran in question. In 2015, he started a nonprofit, Flying Fur Animal Rescue, to fly the dogs to their new homes. Though he led officer training at Fort Knox, Kentucky back in the 1990s, he did not start taking flying lessons until 2013. That fall, he adopted a rescue dog, Tessa, who’d arrived by van from a shelter in Tennessee. Steklenski then thought of ways he could help other dogs and animals, too.
Look at Steklenski at “work” — aka a job we’d love to have!
And here’s another day-at-work photo!
Could these pics get ~any~ cuter?!
And our hearts are melting right now over Zeus here!
Btw, as much as Steklenski seems to enjoy the ride(s), the dogs seem to also!
OMG, these eyes!
And the dogs come in all shapes and sizes!
We CANNOT handle all the cuteness! And in case you’re curious, it all happens with this plane!
With the help of volunteers, Steklenski’s organization takes animals out of shelters and takes them to places that can foster them until they’re adopted.
"The idea is to take them from a kill environment to a no-kill environment," Steklenski told Today. "Not everything works out all the time, but (the shelters) pledge to protect them and make sure they’re going to a good home."
Okay, can we all “Awwwwwww” together?! And, Steklenski’s helped over 700 (!) dogs so far!
Let’s not leave out the cats, though! They get flown, too!
FYI, to do this, Steklenski invested in his own $70,000 aircraft, as well as contributes about $1,000 of his own money on the monthly flights. As for how Steklenski’s animal-transportation method differs from others, he explained it well to Today.
"It's all about efficiency, Steklenski said. “You couldn’t do this with a van, you’d be driving five hours in one direction. It's the only reason I fly...It’s a skill I have, and the airplane is a tool."
Like with everything in life, Steklenski has the essential key to success:
“I truly believe in this, he said. “It’s my passion. I don’t think I found it, it found me."
Okay, if Steklenski doesn’t give you #helpinganimals inspo, we don’t know what will! Brb as we continue to stalk his Instagram for more way-too-cute animal pics!