Penny Pettis of the Escambia County Humane Society gets kisses from one of the puppies set to be transferred to Florida Friday.
Penny Pettis of the Escambia County Humane Society gets kisses from one of the puppies set to be transferred to Florida Friday.

Pilot donates time to transfer puppies

Published 9:28am Sunday, October 20, 2013

A rescue operation of sorts was under way at the Brewton Municipal Airport Friday morning.

A Florida pilot donated his time and his plane to transport a group of puppies from the Escambia County Humane Society shelter to a larger shelter near Daytona Beach to help find them forever homes.

Such transfers are a regular occurrence for the Escambia County shelter — but donated time from a pilot is a big help for the organization, director Renee Jones said. The local shelter only had to pay for the cost of health certifications and vaccinations — pilot Jeff Luizza even fueled up in Brewton.

“Partnerships like this help a lot,” Jones said. “They help us save lives.”

Michael Dombrowski of the Halifax Humane Society said the shelter adopts out larger numbers of animals — 30 to 40 in a weekend — and is able to keep them for a longer amount of time than smaller shelters like Escambia County’s.

Luizza has moved about 1,000 dogs from shelter to shelter or to foster or forever homes. The pilot splits his time between Florida and Pennsylvania.

“I work a lot with shelters like Halifax,” Luizza said. “And I’ve done some medical flights.”

Luizza — who has six dogs of his own at home — sometimes get a little attached to his furry travelers. He took home two dogs from one rescue mission.

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