Nightly News   |  October 10, 2012

Aviators give puppies a second chance

The "Pilots N Paws" organization rescues dogs from overcrowded shelters, flying them to new locations to find them loving homes. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>>> finally here tonight, the story of a rescue operation involving brave aviation fliers and real sacrifice, and it has nothing to do with terrorism or war fare or hostile territory. it has everything to do with finding good homes for animals who are not facing any life at all inside a shelter. nbc's kerry sanders has more on the making a difference report.

>> reporter: today, it is marion of florida . tomorrow, another rural american town. but always, there are dogs. adorable puppies, rescued from so-called kill shelters. with no home and no one locally willing to adopt, these wonderful canines would be put to death were it not for a team of aviators who collect unwanted animals with those who want a dog. the paws organization finds the animals, loads them up, and then it is off. piloting this load of puppies to lakeland, florida , they have the puppies.

>> just like a baby in the car.

>> reporter: less than two hours in the air, and the dogs are back on the ground. a last-minute flight that jeff says was the only option.

>> you're going to get a home quick.

>> all of these dogs would have been put down if we had not taken them out.

>> reporter: and so you rescued?

>> with today's transport, over 1900 .

>> reporter: with today's co-pilot, it is a dog, but sometimes, the mission grows.

>> i have done the pigs, the falcons, the rabbits, snakes, turtles.

>> reporter: so you're all species airways?

>> that is it, if it sits, if it flies, that is it.

>> they want to go out of business, the problem is they know tomorrow they will be needed again.

>> no problem.

>> a happy ending .

>> the happy ending and the new beginning.

>> here we go.

>> this is day one of a new life.

>> reporter: a doggy underground in our nation's airways, kerry sanders , lakeland, florida .