Army veteran flies across America to save more than 700 pets from kill shelters

He rescues unloved animals facing euthanasia

Paul Steklenski, 45, from Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, forked out $65,000 (£50,000) for an aircraft that he fills with crates of unloved animals facing euthanasia. The tank operator-turned-IT expert realized he wanted to save lots of animals after adopting a homeless dog from a rescue center.

At first, Mr. Steklenski considered driving to kill shelters in the United States and transporting these dogs by road to other places to help them find their owners.But he knew that if he transported them in a different way, he would be ready to give new lives to more abandoned pets.differently. He had coincidentally started learning how to fly in 2013 as a hobby, but realized at an equivalent time that he wanted to rescue animals, so went on to urge his license.

Then, in May 2015, he found out Flying Fur Animal Rescue and says he's single-handedly saved 742 animals since then, many which were neglected or abused. In February, the United States Army ex-serviceman of eight years - an SPC who trained troops in Kentucky - bought the plane to assist with the task. 'Seeing the dogs at the shelter was heartbreaking. It had been horrible to think that there have been numerous animals being euthanized because they're stuck during a certain area. 'The further south you go the more there's a pet overpopulation problem. it's distressing.

'I realized I could help make a difference by taking place there, picking them up and taking them to other shelters. 'The plane may be a tool that permits me to try to tons during a day that I could not do with a bus. 'It's a particularly emotional job but it's extremely rewarding.'

Mr Steklenski, who lives with his wife, fellow IT expert Michelle, 46, flies each day or a half day once a month to fly to shelters, where he picks up some cats also as dogs. The caring pilot, who went on to adopt a second dog himself, Layla, now loads as many dogs and cats as he can squeeze onboard in one go - sometimes up to 23 in one trip. He flies to North Carolina and takes them to shelters in other states where there is a better chance they'll be adopted.

But though it is a battle finding the funds, he says making the cross-country trip with dozens of dogs is simple. Mr Steklenski, who doesn't have children, said: 'Once the engine starts up they nod off or will stay up and appearance out of the windows.

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