Jeannette family's new pet delivered by plane
Jan Mikan and her family waited eagerly on the tarmac in front of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport as Bud Newhouse's RV-8 propeller plane touched down and taxied to a stop.
Her 6-year-old grandson, Andrew, battled the whipping winds to proudly hold up a piece of posterboard emblazoned with “Welcome Tin Tin” and expressions of thanks to the charities that made the day possible.
Newhouse, with Tin Tin in a travel crate behind him in his two-seat, single-engine plane, flew about four hours from Shelbyville, Tenn., on Saturday to deliver the 3-year-old beagle to his new family in Jeannette.
“It feels good to do it,” said Newhouse, a pilot from Cincinnati who has been volunteering with Pilots N Paws for about a year. “You can always fly, but this gives you a purpose for it.”
The Lancaster-based charity Raising Aid for Dogs At Risk (Radar) alerted The Rescue Express near Philadelphia to Tin Tin's story — he was picked up as a stray in rural Tennessee and placed in a high-kill shelter — and helped fund Tin Tin's veterinary care and boarding until he was adopted and moved.
The Mikans applied to The Rescue Express to adopt Tin Tin, unaware he was still in Tennessee.
“I assumed when I applied to adopt him that he may have (already) been in the Philadelphia area,” Mikan said. “I had no idea where he was.”
Newhouse responded almost immediately to a thread posted on the Pilots N Paws message board by volunteer transport coordinator Doris Godwin, known to Pilots N Paws members as “Doris_in_Georgia,” seeking help to get Tin Tin to the Mikans.
“I was really lucky that Bud Newhouse stepped up right away,” Godwin said. A second pilot was scheduled to meet Newhouse in West Virginia and fly the second half of Tin Tin's trip, but bad weather changed those plans. “Bud, instead of just flying from Tennessee to West Virginia, he agreed to fly around the mountains and did the whole trip himself. I totally lucked out.”
Pilots N Paws started in 2008 when Debi Boies enlisted the help of friend and pilot Jon Wehrenberg to move a rescued Doberman from Florida to her home in South Carolina. Since then, the charity has grown to a network of more than 4,000 pilots, Boies said, and has moved more than 40,000 animals, including dogs, cats, reptiles, rabbits and even birds of prey.
Vee Neal Aviation has worked with Pilots N Paws for more than a decade, line service manager Don Armitage said.
“We just provide an area for them to stop and we also provide them with fuel and restrooms and stuff like that,” he said. “We give them discounts on fuel. If they would happen to need maintenance or hangar space, we cut them breaks on that stuff, too, so it can be more affordable for them to help people.”
The company offers the same hospitality to Angel Flight, a charitable organization that connects pilots with individuals needing long-distance transportation for medical needs.
“We enjoy doing that kind of stuff,” Armitage said. “It's just always been a part of what we do. It's nice to see people getting the help they need and animals getting the help they need.”
Tin Tin is still adjusting to his home and remains shy and timid, Mikan said, but he'll have a chance to become part of the family thanks to the groups and individuals who collaborated to get him home.
“It's quite a network of really great people,” Mikan said. “They're all volunteers and they put a lot of time and energy and their own resources into it. ... Some of these groups are amazing the way they network.”
Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- School lunch group hopes to revise rules it calls impractical, too restrictive
- Western Pa. students bristle at changing menu choices
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
- Keystone Bakery closes Greensburg store
- Former Hempfield Area director makes guest appearance at University of Alabama
- Greensburg still fighting waterlogged Lynch Field, may add drainage
- Dining at Applebee’s helps Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action
- Hempfield safety seminar puts focus on Bakken crude
- Excela, Pitt-Greensburg team on legacy videos for those in twilight of lives
- Somerset woman arrested for DUI twice in one day
- Trio of concerts to mark Greensburg’s holiday season