Paul Steklenski, a network engineer from Pennsylvania and former soldier, learnt to fly and acquired his own aircraft in order to save several animals from high-kill shelters that were being kept for slaughter. He spent $70,000 on a jet, which he used to transport dog cages to safety.
As a pastime, Paul began studying to fly in 2013, and while he was getting ready to get his license, he made the decision that he wanted to build a family with a dog. At the time, these two items seemed to have no connection at all.
He became fully aware of the amazing network of animal lovers that works to prevent unwanted dogs from ending up in shelters. And it was via this previously unknown network that he met his beloved Tessa, a new member of his family.
After adopting Tessa from a shelter, Paul later came to the conclusion that he wanted to save animals.
Paul stated to The Dodo:“We visited pet stores first, then shelters, and we began to understand the differences. In August 2013, Tessa came into our family. And that recently altered me. She completely altered who I am.
Paul decided he would put his license to good use after completing his flying training and receiving it. He would utilize this to assist others instead of acting like many other drivers do.
He stated:“I had moments when I wanted to stop flying because I didn’t think I could do it, but I kept going back. When I received my certification, I wondered, “What do I do now?”
Although it’s excellent that many pilots like taking off for upscale dining establishments or other destinations, I needed another justification for taking off.”
Paul first considered taking the animals to the high-kill shelters and bringing them there to assist them find families. But he was aware that if he moved the animals in a different method, he might offer scores of unwanted creatures new lives.
Paul uttered:“It was upsetting to see the pets at the shelter. It was terrible to consider that so many creatures were being put to death because they were confined to a certain space.
The problem of pet overpopulation gets worse the further south you go. It’s upsetting. I came to the realization that I could help change things if I went there, picked them up, and took them to other shelters.
Paul began working on several trips for Pilots N Paws, an organization that connects volunteer pilots with animal rescue groups in need of assistance with animal transportation.