David Tan devoted his life to maintaining the residents of the world protected. After 40 years of flying planes within the army, Tan now has a distinct sort of co-pilot within the cockpit. The Middleton, Wisconsin, resident has his personal Aermacchi SF-260. This small, two-person Italian airplane is utilized by international locations with small air forces and for acrobatic stunts.

These days, the feats he’s pulling off aren’t stuffed with barrel rolls and freefalls like one thing out of Top Gun. Instead, Tan has helped greater than 360 canine, 23 cats, one potbelly pig, and a bat (sure, a bat!) fly to security.


Many Rescuers Share The Same Mission

In 2012, Tan heard a few 501(c)(3) charity referred to as Pilots N Paws. This distinctive group is a digital rendezvous level for shelters, pilots, airplane homeowners, and all-around animal lovers to return collectively.

According to their web site, “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.”


Thousands Of Pilots Join The Rescue Efforts

Would you consider there are over 6,000 volunteer pilots working alongside Tan? That’s proper! These pilots donate their time, their airplane, and the gasoline wanted to assist these pups in want!

Rescues sometimes organize for a number of pilots to relay these tail-waggin’ co-pilots in stretches of 250 miles. One fortunate canine may fly with a number of pilots earlier than reaching their ultimate vacation spot.


Even although he’s a Wisconsin resident, most of Tan’s rescue missions happen within the southern states. One of his most heartbreaking tales concerned a canine named April. Her homeowners deserted her after she went to the toilet in the home. They introduced her to the vet to be euthanized however, fortunately, she ended up within the arms of an angel when she bought paired with Tan, who flew her to an unbelievable second likelihood at love.


“There are just some terrible stories out there [about] how cruel people can be to animals, especially down south; the abandonments are horrible,” Tan advised Madison Magazine. “A family would just leave them, discard them like a piece of old furniture or something. So that kind of gets me. I feel good when at least … I can contribute toward where they go.”

Happy Endings At The End Of Every Runway

In addition to his work with Pilots N Paws, Tan additionally works one-on-one together with his personal community of rescuers he has gotten to know through the years. Occasionally, Tan will get to be the fortunate particular person to introduce a canine to their new household – one thing he cherishes deeply.

“You sort of say, ‘Hope you have a great rest of your life,’ you know?” he says. “‘Hope these people love you forever.’”


If a household tries to pay Tan for his time and efforts, he by no means retains the cash. Tan all the time offers it proper again to the rescues to allow them to proceed to avoid wasting extra four-legged lives.

“They’re always short, especially when it comes to medical care for the animals,” Tan stated. “It just costs so much nowadays.”

Tan says that as a pilot, it’s important to fly; in any other case, you’ll lose your abilities. Rather than flying to a faraway land for an adventurous day, Tan would quite sustain on his abilities by giving again to the harmless animals who deserve nothing however love.

Featured Photo: Twitter

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