Devastation From Hurricane Florence Prompts Local Rescue Organization To Act

Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team will make another trip this week

Joe DeStio
September 18, 2018 - 1:28 pm



Related: PAART Rescues Dozens Of Pets During Left Behind During Hurricane Florence

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Volunteer pilots with the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team (PAART) are waiting for the all clear from federal disaster officials in the Carolinas to fly down to pick up shelter dogs in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

“You get as close to the affected area as you can and you move existing shelter dogs out to make room for the evacuees so they can be reunited with their owners,” according to PAART Executive Director Mary Witrhrow. “We have a plane ready to go that will carry over 4,000 pounds of dogs which translates to about 100 to 120 dogs.”

PAART has already evacuated about 60 dogs to shelters around Pittsburgh and on Long Island, NY in advance of Florence. In the Pittsburgh area dogs have gone to Animal Friends, Pet Search, Paws Across Pittsburgh and Forever Home Beagle Rescue.

“It’s not just restricted to dogs,” said Withrow. “We’ll do chickens, cats, pigs, whatever it may be.”

PAART, which was formed in 2012, is getting good news in the firm of a new plane donated by the Rachel Ray Foundation. It’s a brand new Mahindra Air Van that Withrow says cost about $1 million. She says because of its boxy design it can carry more animal cages which tend to be box like.  The plane, due this week, can carry four times the weight of the Piper Saratoga which the rescue team uses now.

Find out how you can support PAART here.

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