Atlantic Aviation, the fixed-base operator at Port San Antonio’s Kelly Field airport, is doing its part to help over 50 area rescue dogs find new permanent homes. In the pre-dawn hours of May 12, Atlantic was the staging ground for the excited dogs as they boarded a private flight bound for Idaho. There, area animal rescue groups will oversee their adoptions. Atlantic is helping the efforts of San Antonio Pets Alive!— a local agency devoted to supporting San Antonio’s efforts to become a no-kill community. The organization helps dogs held at the city animal shelter that are slated for euthanasia find permanent homes within and outside the region.
This was San Antonio Pets Alive’s! first air logistics effort and part of the group’s Headin’ Home Transport Program. Air travel was provided by Dog Is My CoPilot —a partner nonprofit group based in Wyoming that specializes in transporting dogs from parts of the country with large populations of strays to places where there is a strong demand for pet adoptions. “We’ve been  supporting all types of aircraft and missions over the course of almost 20 years,” said Dwight Randolph, General Manager of Atlantic Aviation at Port San Antonio. “From the largest military aircraft to private, cargo and charter flights—we’re here to serve all types of clients. This includes our four-legged friends.” “This is a very exciting day for our organization,” said San Antonio Pets Alive! Executive Director Maureen O’Nell. “We look forward to having several similar missions in the near future. We appreciate the efforts of those involved in making this day possible—our volunteers, our partners and our new friends at Atlantic for giving us a great location to make this big maneuver easy.”
From arriving at the airfield to loading the aircraft and take off, the entire operation wrapped up within an hour. “This work is tremendously gratifying, and we are very glad to add San Antonio to our list of partner communities,” said Dr. Peter Rork, Dog Is My CoPilot’s co-founder, who personally piloted the effort’s inaugural flight from San Antonio. “We do this work all over the country and, as a pilot, I greatly appreciate the great service and ample space that Atlantic provided to make this an easy operation on all of us.” “This is truly a win-win partnership—for the two communities involved and for dozens of loving animals who will find permanent homes,” said San Antonio City Councilman Rey Saldaña, whose District 4 encompasses much of the Port. “I congratulate San Antonio Pets Alive! for their innovative partnership and for all they and their many volunteers are doing in our community to promote responsible animal ownership. Today’s success also underscores the great flexibility that the Port and its tenant customers have to accommodate our community’s diverse needs.” The work of both nonprofit animal welfare organizations is made possible thanks to the support of volunteers and donors. It costs approximately $150 to transport each dog to its new location.