Flying in Clover: Sheba’s Haven Meets Pilots ‘N’ Paws

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by Lorraine Payette, written October 17, 2013

(Kingston, Ontario) What happens when you take two great ideas and put them together? If you’re a beautiful older dog named Clover, the answer is a lot of love and a joyous ending.

Clover couldn’t help what had happened to her. Almost everyone loses something to time, whether they want to or not. A sweet little beige coloured “pocket husky” cross, she had developed various health issues with aging.

But not everyone loses their home over these things. Abandoned by her owners, Clover was found wandering the streets by the Timmins Humane Society (THS). And that was when the miracles started coming together.

Careful networking linked the THS with Catherine Pokrywa of Sheba’s Haven in Inverary.

“Clover is a diabetic senior, they think over 10,” said Pokrywa. “She has a dead tooth, a growth on the eye, and is blind but they don’t know for sure if it’s from the diabetes. They did get her started up in Timmins on insulin, which is good, and it looks like she has arthritis in her back end. They had trouble getting her out of the plane, but being blind, she was probably wondering what was going on. They used something that looked like a chocolate covered rice krispie square to get her going, but it didn’t work well. It looks like she could have a thyroid problem because she’s losing hair around the neck. They didn’t really send me much more information on her, they just asked if I could take her.”

And asking was all it took. For Pokrywa there was no question, no hesitation. The need was there and she was happy to fill it.

“We brought her in from Timmins because she needed the special palliative care that I give,” said Pokrywa. “And the best way to bring her down all the way from Timmins is Pilots ‘n’ Paws (Canada (PNPC)). This is the first time I’ve been introduced to it, and it’s been great.”

According to their website, “PNPC Animal Rescue (dba Pilots N Paws Canada) provides a 100% volunteer based community of Canadian pilots, transport and foster volunteers along with volunteer rescue specialists to Canadian based rescue organizations, shelters and groups when they have animals in need transportation help within the boundaries of Canada.”

But good as people’s hearts may be, it isn’t always easy. A previous attempt had been made to bring Clover down, only to face technical difficulties soon after taking off. This didn’t stop PNPC, however. They put out the call again and Pilot Bob Pearson from Bancroft answered.

“Pilots ‘n’ Paws has been running in the US for several years, and a lady out in Vancouver, Ginny Greene, decided to start a Canadian version,” said Pearson. “Private pilots sign on and volunteer. We check the website on a regular basis and if there’s a request for an animal transfer that we can handle, we volunteer and go do it. The program started in Canada in June, 2012, and I joined up that July. Clover was the thirteenth dog that I’ve transported – lucky thirteen. She was a perfect passenger and slept most of the way.”

No animal in need will be turned away regardless of species. The only restriction is size, as they cannot help animals that don’t fit into the tiny private aircraft.

“There was an owl that was transported by one of the other volunteer pilots awhile back,” said Pearson. “Out west there have been a couple of snakes, some turtles, rabbits, ferrets, a few cats, but mostly dogs. As long as we can get it in the plane, we’ll pretty much help any animal that needs us.”

By bringing these two groups together, Clover is now living the good life. After all that excitement, she’s settling in well and getting to know her way around. She still feels a bit frightened without her leash, but she’s adjusting nicely to a forever home where all of her needs are met and she never has to worry again about where to sleep or whether she’ll eat.

To learn more about how to contribute to happy endings such as this, please contact Sheba’s Haven Rescue at 613-353-6923 or e-mail at shebashaven@kingston.net, or find them online at http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/shebashaven.html . Pilots ‘N’ Paws may be reached through their website at http://www.pilotsnpawscanada.com/, by e-mail at pilotsnpawscanada@gmail.com or 778-887-6746 (Pacific Coast). All requests for transfer must be made through their forum at http://www.pilotsnpawscanada.com/join-our-group/.

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