Veteran Buys Plane in Effort to Save as Many Animals as Possible

Army Veteran Paul Steklenski takes to the skies to save as many animals as possible.

After rescuing a homeless pup named Tessa, Paul Steklenski, a former tank operator and current IT expert, saw the positive difference he could make in the lives of innocent animals. He was determined to help by transporting animals from high-kill shelters to no-kill shelters, but he didn't want to help only a few animals find better lives; he wanted to help hundreds.

With those kinds of numbers, he knew transporting animals via a van or a bus wouldn't work. He needed something faster and bigger, and that's when he came up with the idea of using a plane.

Coincidentally, Steklenski had recently taken up flying lessons when he realized his passion for helping animals. He went on to earn his pilot's license and buy his own plane. With an airborne mode of transportation, the Pennsylvania native established Flying Fur Animal Rescue — a non-profit organization that has helped over 1,600 animals since its start in May 2015.

Once a month, Steklenski flies down to shelters in North Carolina that are overrun with homeless pets. He targets areas known for having serious animal overpopulation problems, and he takes the dogs and cats most at risk of being euthanized.

dog man

With the seats ripped out of his five-seater Beechcraft Bonanza, he can fit up to 23 animals and their crates. He taxis them north where he drops them off at various no-kill shelters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The homeless animals are welcomed at the new shelters where they have better chances at being adopted and finding families that will love them forever.


The number of lives saved grows with each trip, but keeping Flying Fur Animal Rescue up and running hasn't been easy. It takes a lot of time and money to keep things running, but Steklenski is dedicated to what he does.

To donate to this amazing organization, click here.

Have you ever rescued an animal? Let us know in the comments section below!

Photos via : Flying Fur Animal Rescue. This post was originally published on August 12, 2017. 

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