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- Mission of a Lifetime: Air Force Veteran flies pets to sick kids, wounded warriors
Mission of a Lifetime: Air Force Veteran flies pets to sick kids, wounded warriors
Friday, January 10, 2014
Philadelphia, PA - If you had a mission of a lifetime, what would it be? And would you even know it if it came along?
For Albert Adams, his mission crystallized in 2012. A retired veteran of the US Air Force, Albert was asked to rescue a pet from a Kill Shelter and deliver the pet to a new home. From that first flight, there was no turning back. He had found his calling, traversing the country, rescuing pets from kill shelters and delivering them to welcoming homes across the country.
"After spending most of my adult life flying airplanes as a hobby, I was asked to fly a dog from a rescue and deliver her to a very sick little girl a few hundred miles away. From the moment I handed over her new companion, I knew immediately that this was an endeavour that I would carry out for the rest of my life.”
Since then, partnering with the national non-profit Pilots N’ Paws and with the support of hundreds of nameless volunteers that work at local shelters and as foster parents, Albert has flown thousands of miles saving pets from kill shelters to stable, loving homes. In addition to all of the civilian deliveries, he has now started to work with the Wounded Warriors Project, delivering new companions to those injured in war.
The demand for his services quickly surfaced. There were lots of loving families willing to take in these pets, but costs became prohibitive. It was then that he decided to reach out for help.
"I was willing to fly every single request that came in, however my budget would only allow so many flights per month. Yet, I couldn't be the person that said: I’m sorry, I can't afford the gas money to fly that dog to you that will help save your life the next time you have a seizure."
And that was the case with James, a wounded Marine, who had multiple deployments over the past few years, returning home with traumatic brain injuries. “Just days after receiving Chewy, I had a very bad seizure” he said. “I don’t remember anything except waking up in the hospital. My wife said that Chewy gave me the alert he is trained to give and I immediately laid down and pushed my medical alert button. Chewy began to bark as he sat by my side while I had the seizure until the paramedics arrived. Thanks to this dog, who was delivered by a group of angels who never asked for anything from us, I am living a more productive life. Had Albert not stepped in, I wouldn't have gotten Chewy because we could not afford to get him flown to me."
Albert understood the need, and found a renewed sense to go outside of his comfort zone and ask for help to cover his operating costs. An avid motorcyclist, Albert was surprised to learn that one of his deliveries was to the home of a Ducati executive. They wanted to donate to the cause and encouraged him to step up his fundraising efforts. He did, and with the help of Ducati, Subaru, Petsmart and RevZilla.com, along with other private donations, he has been able to continue to rescue pets and deliver them to their new homes.
However, the need is great, and with his current requests for flights, he estimates $20,000.00 in gas costs for the year. If he meets the goal, he will be able to deliver 3 pets per week to wounded warriors and other families in need. All donations go directly towards flight and transport costs.
RevZilla is a proud sponsor of Albert, Pilots N’ Paws and the Wounded Warrior Project. To help Albert continue his mission, visit his page and donate at http://www.gofundme.com/help-fly-pet-rescues.