Friday, April 04, 2014

Jeff Bennett: 'Angel in sky' uses own plane to save dogs on death row

 TAMPA (FOX 13) -  Jeff Bennett, a volunteer with Pilots and Paws, combines his love of flying with his love for dogs – rescuing animals all across the country.

It's a plane full of puppies all being saved from death row.

"I enjoy it," Bennett told FOX 13. "You get to have cute little faces in the plane. I get to play with them while I'm flying."

Those cute little faces come from over-populated shelters that are forced to euthanize animals. Jeff flies all across the U.S., picking up the pups and taking them to shelters throughout South Florida.

Sherry Silk of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay believes said this about him:  "They're angels in the sky saving little guys."

Jeff has rescued close to 2,300 dogs since 2008, and he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon. He volunteers his time and his plane, paying for his own gas and repairs from the wear and tear of travel. And he does it without asking for anything in return.

"He's the real deal. He's not doing it for notoriety. He's doing it because when he sees these puppies and sees them here, and we do follow ups with him and tell him that they get adopted, that's all the recognition that he needs" Silk said.

Jeff and his wife's love of dogs extend to his home, too. They have four of their own rescued dogs. But for the Bennett family, it's more like a love of all animals.

"I've done potbelly pigs, kinkajou, snakes, lizards, hamsters, guinea pigs," he said.

The animals go to shelters like the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, where they stay until they find a forever home.

"These guys you want to take home," Jeff said. "It's hard not to take them home. There's one on almost every trip that I'd like to take."

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