Why Does Pilots N Paws Claim Credit for the Work of Others?

It takes a village to save a dog. So many play an important role.

Before you read the following post there are three points I want to make clear.

  1. Injustice against people or animals, infuriates me. Especially when it impacts the many and good people involved in all phases of animal rescue.
  2. I used examples in this post that involved Pilot.dog but there are others who have told me similar stories. Rather than put them in the spotlight, I’m willing to take the heat for speaking up about these issues, so I used my own well documented example.
  3. Pilots N Paws should be acknowledged and thanked for the service they state they provide. As they say, “Pilots N Paws is only a meeting place for rescue flights.” For that service, I applaud them.

Recently I wrote about a disturbing conversation I had after getting a telephone call from Pilots N Paws. You can read the story here.

And people have been asking me if it bothers me that Pilots N Paws allowed our picture to be used without permission for the rescue of the year nomination and then edited out our name in our own picture.

Well I have to admit, that was kind of a crappy thing to do. And if Pilots N Paws didn’t do it directly, they were certainly well aware it was our picture and had been used without our permission and edited to remove the Pilot.dog name from it.

When the CW television network first had the nominations for “Best Rescue” we gave Pilots N Paws a pass for the use of our picture since it was for a mission we had flown and the rescue involved in Pennsylvania deserved the recognition. But after Pilots N Paws called and told us they needed to protect their brand and we could not fly dogs we found the requests for on Pilots N Paws if we didn’t give them total credit, and then allowing our identity to be removed from our own picture; that’s a new low in my book.

Let’s look at the facts as Pilots N Paws posted them on their Facebook page. Now keep in mind, Pilots N Paws clearly says they do not rescue animals and they are not a rescue. Their forum terms and conditions that all rescues and pilots have to agree to say, “I understand that rescue flights are the responsibility of the sending and receiving parties and pilots. Pilots N Paws is only a meeting place for rescue flights. Pilots N Paws does not coordinate transports and/or rescue animals. Pilots N Paws cannot be held responsible or liable for any flights. Flights are the responsibility and liability of the sending and receiving parties and pilots.” – Source

But here is what Pilots N Paws is telling people for this award.

PNP Facebook Post

So how in the world can Pilots N Paws say they don’t do rescues and they claim credit for rescuing this dog? Either the terms and conditions are a lie or the post from Pilots N Paws is a mistruth. Do they not know they don’t do rescues or are they claiming credit for the work of others?

I will agree that Pilots N Paws played an important role in the rescue of Red by hosting a free forum. In their own words, “Pilots N Paws is only a meeting place for rescue flights.” For that I give them a hat tip and kudos.

Pilots and Paws was the free forum the parties met on and coordinated the trip. But Pilots N Paws was not the rescue on each end, the foster, the shelter, the adopter, or the pilots. Pilot.dog did the flight. You can read about the flight and watch the flight video, here.

But saving Red was a team effort that involved nobody from Pilots N Paws; just the use of their free open source software as a place for the actual people involved to communicate.

Why is it that all the pilots and all the rescues who actually do the hard work are not acknowledged openly by Pilots N Paws for the hard work they provide on each trip or mission since Pilots N Paws is just a forum and does not rescue animals?

As far as I’m aware Pilots N Paws did not provide any financial support to any of the parties involved in Red’s rescue. They could not even offer a charitable donation letter for all the money everyone spent to save Red because Pilots N Paws says they are not a rescue and “rescue flights are the responsibility of the sending and receiving parties and pilots.”

In my book the real heroes here were Linda Stronza who coordinated the entire transfer, Pamela Knichel and Christine Farrell of Pet Match Rescue, Rachel and Dane who met us at the airport to pickup the dogs, James and Marie who volunteered to bring the dogs from the Fayetteville, NC shelter to Harnett Regional Jetport for us to board on the plane and fly to a new life, and most importantly Lori and Michael should be acknowledged for adopting Red. It was a team effort. It wasn’t a Pilots N Paws effort and Red wasn’t even the only dog on that flight.

And then Pilots N Paws didn’t even have the courtesy to give us credit for our role and claimed the credit themselves.

Flown by Pilots N PAws

The dogs on that flight were not flown by Pilots N Paws, Pam and I flew them under our Pilot.dog name. Pilots N Paws didn’t offer one penny towards our $450 fuel bill for the flight. And they were not with us as we flew through bad weather to complete the mission. Pilots N Paws did nothing in the actual flight and to say the dogs were “flown by Pilots N Paws” is something I can’t find the right word for. I’ll let you comment below and come up with the right word.

Here is Where it Gets Really Dark

Somehow along the way in this award process, our own picture, the one I took, was edited to remove our identity for the Pilots N Paws nominated award.

Here is the now current nomination picture for Red as the best rescue for Pilots N Paws.
Here is the now current nomination picture for Red as the best rescue for Pilots N Paws.

Here is our original picture from that flight.

Pam and Red supervising.
Our flight picture.
Here is how the full nomination page now looks. Out identity was removed.
Here is how the full nomination page now looks. Our identity was removed.

Here is how it used to look before we got the call that Pilots N Paws needed to protect their brand.

CW Best Rescue

Look, don’t get me wrong, as a greater community we all work as cogs in a big wheel to save dogs. The miracle of what we do is the silent and dedicated cooperation that goes on day after day.

And frankly, I’m pissed Pilots N Paws makes us all agree they do not rescue animals and wants all the credit for the diligent hard work of the many rescues and pilots who are the ones actually investing time and significant money to save these dogs.

Pilots N Paws makes a forum available for people to use and communicate but to claim supreme credit for the work of others and hide the truth or play a silent role in editing it out, well, that’s just nasty in my book.


Watch how Pilots N Paws describes our dog rescue flight at the World Dog Awards even though they acknowledge Pet Match Rescue who we flew the dogs for.

P.S. Just before this all happened we had even gone above and beyond and praised Pilots N Paws in a television interview we did for a flight that wasn’t even listed on their forum.

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