Paul Steklenski is 45 years old and a veteran of the United States Army. In 2013, he learned to fly planes as a hobby. A few years later, he obtains his license and decides to buy his own plane to fulfill a very special mission: to save the lives of hundreds of dogs on the verge of being slaughtered.
It all started after the man adopted Tessa, a homeless puppy, who became the main inspiration for founding the Flying Fur Animal Rescue organization.
Tessa was adopted by Paul and his wife in 2013. They found her in a Tennessee animal shelter and immediately became better friends, and with whom she began the adventure of helping other dogs to be as happy as she is.
In 2015, the nonprofit organization in Pennsylvania began operating to save dogs from slaughterhouse shelters and help them be adopted and have a second chance in life. At first, Paul thought of doing guided tours by vehicle, but he immediately realized that the plane was a much more agile means of transportation.
“I thought it’s a way for me to use a technique that helps me move a lot of animals in a short time.” Paul Steklenski
Since then, the organization has saved more than 1,346 dogs, most of which have been abused by their owners.
Some cases were found with scabies, while one dog was shot in the head, sprayed, and even drugged. Despite all the suffering, the poor animals decide to trust a human being again and receive the love they so badly need.
Paul is investing about $ 1,000 a month in his own money to equip the aircraft and carry out the animal rescue operation. On its website, there is a space for those wishing to donate (starting at $ 5) to pay the $ 500 required for each flight, since they have no administration fee and all employees work as they wish.
“My full-time job helps me pay for it … I need my job to accomplish this mission and help save these animals.” Paul Steklenski
Twice a month, 15 dogs rescued from shelters get on Paul’s plane and are handed over to the officials who decided to adopt them. “These animals are doing well, are healthy and can be adopted, and are being robbed for their lives,” said the big man in an interview.
The story does not stop there and, for later, Paul wants to reach the goal of buying a farm with an airstrip to make it a rescue center including the entrance of the animal, its phase Rehabilitation and Adoption.
What do you think about Paul’s story and his efforts to save animals? Would you be willing to do something similar to help hairy friends in search of a second chance? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!