I’m gutted by a call we just received from the nonprofit group Pilots N Paws. Pilots N Paws has been a fantastic resource for connecting us, and other dog rescue pilots, with people who needed to have a rescue dog transported.
We’ve frequently praised Pilots N Paws in national news stories and television interviews for their site, forum, and developing a platform where pilots can connect with rescues who need to give a dog a lift to a new life. In fact they used one of our photos in their 2016 calendar. We thought that was pretty cool at the time.
But as of December 30, 2015 we will no longer be able to help rescues who post requests for help with Pilots N Paws. If we did continue to fly rescue missions that were listed on Pilots N Paws, the Pilots N Paws organization insists we cannot mention Pilot.dog or ask for donations in those flight videos or on our site. In fact I don’t think we could write about any of those flights at all on our site. Pilots N Paws seems to want to claim all credit in every way for all flights we would make after being contacted for help by a dog rescue organization through the Pilots N Paws forum.
In the conversation with them I was saddened when it seemed the Pilots N Paws brand needed protection more than dogs needed to be transported cooperatively. At least that’s the impression I left the conversation with after pressing on the brand issue.
There is no doubt that Pilots N Paws is a brand, and it’s their brand to do as they see fit and they certainly solicit massive amounts of contributions through the Pilots N Paws brand name. Kudos for them.
Pilots N Paws also holds a registered trademark for the term Pilots N Paws and lists the accompanying services as “providing a website through which animal rescue providers and aircraft owners and pilots can connect to each other to arrange and discuss the rescue and delivery of animals.”
It appears that a contributing factor for their decision was the submission of Pilots N Paws in the “Best Rescue” category of the World Dog Awards on the CW television network. – Source
Apparently Pilots N Paws was nominated as best rescue for this rescue mission we flew for some great local rescue groups who had posted the request on the Pilots N Paws forum. You can see, the listing of the best rescue submission, below. We did not submit it but whoever did, used Pam’s picture with Red and she is wearing her Pilot.dog shirt. We were honored to help Pilots N Paws in any way with the award, including not making a fuss one of our pictures was used without permission.
We bear Pilots N Paws no ill will at all and will respect their position to not assist with dog rescues that we would have located on the Pilots N Paws forum.
But in the interest of clarity, we carefully investigated the Pilots N Paws terms and conditions when using their site and there is no mention of any sort of exclusive credit in the terms and conditions users, rescues, and/or pilots agree to. You can read a copy of the terms and conditions here that were in force. In addition, since we have been flying as Pilot.dog we have been in contact with Pilots N Paws, shared links and pictures with them, and there was never any hint of a problem or issue. So you can understand how we were blindsided by the actions Pilots N Paws took.
But again, we acknowledge it’s their ball and they can take it and go home any time they want to.
So we sadly go our separate ways with the demands of Pilots N Paws and depart with our tail between our legs, but we absolutely still feel it’s been an honor to assist so many rescues through their volunteer forum. We were proud to have been a part of Pilots N Paws in the past.
So If You Need Our Help, Look Below
If any rescue group would like for us to fly a dog rescue mission for them we now recommend two resources. Rescues can use our online request form, but we think that listing them on Doobert.com is a much better option to allow both ground transporters and more pilots a chance to assist dogs in need.
Epilogue: Funny how amazing things can happen as the result of change. Read DOOBERT WILL MAKE MORE DOGS SMILE IN 2016.