A couple of lucky dogs here in the mountains got a second chance at life thanks to a program called Crisis Dogs NC. The nonprofit organization partners with pilots from Pilots-N-Paws to transport at-risk dogs from kill shelters to loving homes across the nation.
The program was started two years ago by former journalist and author Judith Texier after she saw a need for canines in North Carolina to be placed in homes.
"We rescue dogs within sometimes an hour of being put down," Texier said.
In 2017, volunteers rescued 220 dogs, taking them by land and air to their new owners.
Pilot Mitchell Armenante has been flying since 1975. He joined PNP in 2005 and has since flown more than 400 dogs to new homes.
"Most of these dogs that we rescue are on last hour and death row. They don't have a voice, so, we try to speak for them," Armenante said.
On July 19, Armenante flew a rescue dog named Snowy, who had one blue eye and one brown, from Asheville to Raleigh. She was then taken to her new foster home on the coast. Along the ride, Snowy was timid and nervous but eventually settled down. On the flight back, a black spotted dog named Daliliah was the next passenger to board Armenante's plane. He took her to her new owner, Maggie Everett, who was waiting at Asheville Regional Airport.
"It's great that Mitch and the other pilots would do this," Everett said.
If the new foster families are not a perfect with the dog, Texier takes them back.