Every Weekend, Volunteer Pilots Save Shelter Dogs by Flying Them to Safety | Inspire you


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photo byCourtesy of Julian Javor

Pilot Julian Javor doesn’t just fly friendly skies; she also helps make the skies friendlier by volunteering to transport dogs from high shelters to safety. The man who works in construction and property management during the week flaps his wings on the weekends to help dogs in need, whether it’s to shelters, foster homes, or permanent homes.

Javor’s flying skills and dedication to animal rescue came in handy last June when she received a Facebook request from Debbie Newton of RSQ209, an animal rescue group based in Valley Springs, CA.

“[RSQ209] messaged me and said, ‘We know you are a rescue pilot and highly recommended,’” said Javor. They tell a story about a poodle named Spike who ran away from his home in El Paso, Texas on July 4, 2018, and somehow ended up in Stockton, California a year later.

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photo byCourtesy of Julian Javor

No one knows how Spike got from Texas to California, but he is lucky because he has a microchip. Newton asked Javor to fly Spike back to Texas. The dog family is heartbroken.

Javor acted without hesitation. He intends to babysit the dog for a week before flying him back to his family.

He Gained His Wings

So how did Javor, a dog lover, start flying animals to safety?

In September 2017, Javor received his commercial pilot license. He used every opportunity to increase his flying hours. “I started looking for opportunities that would give me a compelling reason to fly,” he explains.

That’s when he discovered Pilots N Paws, a network of volunteer pilots who help transport animals.

Javor was hooked after accompanying a friend who had just received his private pilot certificate to fly a dog to a new home. “That’s exactly what I was looking for in terms of a challenge,” he says. “It is also very satisfying. The host family is very happy.”

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photo byCourtesy of Julian Javor

From November 2017 to May 2018, Los Angeles-based Javor flew charter aircraft. However, the price is exorbitant. “During that time, I also got my multi-engine rating and started to weigh the trade-offs,” he explains. “I thought if I wanted to do it more often, how could I do it cheaper?”

That’s when he found a cheap Cessna 414. “It opened up the world to me because I had flown 26 animals within two months of getting the plane.”

Javor was out of commission for back surgery from September 2018 to February 2019, but his contacts in the animal rescue world were eagerly awaiting his return. He returned to flying in February and has flown almost every weekend since, experimenting with longer flights and carrying more animals.

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photo byCourtesy of Julian Javor

When it came time to fly Spike back to Texas in June, Javor jumped at the chance. “It’s going to be amazing,” he said. “I see it as an opportunity to test my plane again and see how it performs on the flight to Texas.”

Spike is not happy about the hot and bumpy flight but he is overjoyed when they arrive because he gets to see his family. They, like the local news, are waiting. “Spike recognized his mom right away and jumped right into her arms,” ​​said Javor.

Watch how excited Spike is to be reunited with his family after a year apart:

Help for the Arizona Rescue

Javor was instrumental in transporting two German shepherds from a high shelter in California to an Arizona rescue.

Trisha Houlihan, founder and executive director of Saving Paws Rescue Arizona, accepted the request for the two dogs. Artie, whose leg is amputated after being hit by a car, and Maverick are scheduled to be euthanized. Houlihan was willing to take them as long as he could find a carrier.

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photo byCourtesy of Julian Javor

“Trish is huge on the medical front,” says Michelle Forster, a volunteer at Saving Paws. One of Houlihan’s contacts in California took Artie to a local boarding facility while Maverick was placed in foster care. The foster parents knew Javor and contacted him to ask if he could transport the dogs to Arizona. Javor said yes, and they then started the arrangement.

Artie is confined for most of the flight, but Javor lets him out briefly. “He was sitting in the co-pilot’s chair and when he realized he wasn’t on the ground he was sorry he got out of the cage,” laughs Javor.

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photo byCourtesy of Julian Javor

Artie couldn’t get off the plane fast enough as they landed. A Saving Paws volunteer greets the dogs. Forster is happy to report that both dogs were quickly adopted into loving homes. “We can never thank Julian enough for saving two of our lives,” said Forster.

A Co-pilot and His Own Dog

On many flights, Javor traveled with his partner Victoria Talbot. They met at work and started flying together. He helped in many rescue missions. “He was always there for me in difficult or happy circumstances,” explained Javor.

Talbot was on a flight on February 9, 2019, which turned out to be a very long day with eight stops across California. They have a total of nine dogs and four cats. “One of our first pickups of the day was a Shadow,” explains Javor. Malnourished dog with pneumonia is a feral dog in Fresno, California.

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photo byCourtesy of Julian Javor

“But his personality is extraordinary,” said Talbot. “A lot of dogs have been put down. He didn’t close at all. She is shining and very cute.

It was then that Javor said, “Maybe I should bring a dog home.”

“If you’re going to take one, this one is a keeper,” Talbot replied, referring to Shadow.

Prior to being pulled from the shelter, the black dog stinks, did not have a shelter admission, and was scheduled for euthanasia. He was picked up by Javor and Talbot at 10 a.m. and spent the entire day on the plane, quickly endearing himself to them.

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photo byCourtesy of Julian Javor

“He will be dropped off in Los Angeles for rescue,” Javor said. “Around 5:30 p.m., I called the woman who rescued her and said, ‘If possible, don’t bother coming to the airport because I want to take her home.’”

And the rest is history.

Earn Miles

Javor has flown 223 animals to date, including a six-day-old kitten who needed to be bottle-fed, a dog shot in Mexico, and the poodle Spike, whom Javor reunited with his family. One of the things that has kept Javor going is seeing families reunited with their pets. He believed Spike and the other rescue animals knew they had been rescued.

“In California alone, 1,000 dogs and cats are euthanized every day, and there are millions of dogs and cats in the shelter system whose lives are in danger and are homeless and scared,” Javor said. “All they want is to receive and give love. So if people have love in their hearts and space in their homes for these animals, they deserve to be given a chance.”

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photo byCourtesy of Julian Javor

Javor is currently forming a 501(c)(3) organization to accept donations, which will allow him to fly more and help more animals.

“I consider myself very lucky to have found a way to both do what I admire and do good,” he said. “The world would be a better place if people took what they love and found a way to give it back.”

Javor can be found on Instagram and Facebook. Currently he is developing his website.

Julian Javor provided the image for this post.


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