R.O.A.R. Squad: Debi and her dogs Brock, Chelsea, Lilly and Ashley, and her cat, Mac

Debi with one of her very lucky charges, Lucky.

I am very pleased to introduce our latest R.O.A.R. Squad member from South Carolina: Debi Boies, co-founder of Pilots N Paws!

Pilots N Paws is a meeting place for those who rescue, shelter or foster animals, and pilots and plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of animals [via]. The organization started when Debi was trying to find a way to get Brock, a rescue Doberman in Florida, to her home in South Carolina. Her friend Jon Wehrenberg, a pilot, offered to fly Brock home and the rest, as they say, is history!

Learn more about Debi and her incredible organization after the jump.

To learn more about the R.O.A.R Squad (Rescue Owners Are Rockin!), or if you would like to be profiled, all the info you need is HERE. A special shout out to the fabulous folks in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nunavut, and Idaho. These are the last states, provinces and territories we need-  we really need you!

Rockin’ Rescue Owner: Debi Boies, co-founder of Pilots N Paws

Debi with the inspiration behind Pilots N Paws: Brock

Gorgeous Pups: We have two Doberman’s Brock and Chelsea, and two elderly Lhasa Apsos, Lilly and Ashley (sadly Ashley recently passed away at almost 17 years). We also have a rescue cat named Mac and six Morgan Horses!

How Pilots N Paws Came to Be: Pilots N Paws is an online volunteer organization of small-plane pilots and rescuers. The organization “sprouted wings” after I, who had been in Doberman Rescue for several years in the upstate of South Carolina, sent out an email to my friends to see if any of them were by chance making a trip from Florida to the Carolinas. After the loss of my 12-year-old Dobie, I found a rescue Doberman in Florida (Brock) who needed a home and felt that he would be a perfect addition to the family. The only question was how to move him from Florida to SC. My friend Jon Wehrenberg of Knoxville, Tennessee responded to my plea and generously offered to fly the Dobie from Florida to SC. Things snowballed from there! (You can check out Pilots N Paws on Facebook and Twitter!)

Taking Flight: The first official flight took place on February 8, 2008. Since then, the number of small-plane general aviation pilot volunteers has climbed to over 1,800, with 8,420 registered users participating on the website. Our goal is to have 10,000 pilots so that few transport requests go unanswered. The FAA has given us the status of Humanitarian Flights, so pilots can use portions of their flight expenses as a tax deductible donation.

International Reach: Volunteer pilots have worked together and flown animals outside the U.S.  We have also assisted with dogs who have been adopted by our soldiers overseas in Afghanistan after they fly to the U.S. on commercial airlines. We then pick up the final leg of the transport and fly them to the soldier’s home. This is extremely rewarding! Our pilots were even involved with flying a Steppe Eagle from Afghanistan, who our Navy Seals rescued and saved after the eagle was shot. That eagle is now sharing space at Berkshire Bird Paradise with an American eagle. Very poignant to see the two of them perched next to each other (read more about this eagle’s incredible story here)!

Want to Help? Pilots N Paws works with volunteers in the following areas: pilots, volunteer drivers, temporary overnight foster homes (in case of an unexpected landing). Please check out Pilots N Paws to learn more. You can also download this flyer and bring it to your local airport and ask the personnel to post it in a location where pilots gather, such as the flight planning room or pilot’s lounge.


Ambassador for her Breed: All our pets, including the horses adore people.  Chelseabuggs, as we call her, is a clown and never meets a stranger.  She has converted many people to the Doberman breed.

Heart Dog: Brock has become my heartdog.  He was very fearful when he first came to us from rescue but you would never know it now!  He has blossomed into a very alert, loving boy who thinks chasing a ball is the best game ever.

Big Boss: Lilly is the boss–big attitude in a little package there is no doubt who rules the Dobies.

Inspector Mac: Mac the rescue cat protects our barn from little rodents he doesn’t feel need to live there!  He has come a long way over the years from being afraid of his own shadow and hiding in the rafters to meowing a loud greeting as soon as you enter the barn!

Great Big Dogs: The horses are Morgans which mean they are basically big beautiful intelligent dogs in horse clothing.  We love them all and are blessed to share our lives with them.

Where: South Carolina

Want to meet some of the Pilots N Paws pilots? Check out Louise from Utah and Kyla and Dylan from Colorado!

Join the R.O.A.R. Squad

Do you want to join the R.O.A.R. Squad? Our goal is to make having a rescue animal THE coolest thing around. Ya game? Perfect! We’d love to have you!

Send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Recruiting Members

We are well on our way to reaching our goal of finding at least one rescue owner from every state in the U.S. and at least one rescue owner from every province and territory in Canada by April 2011. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We’re looking for rescue dogs, cats, rabbits, parrots… donkeys… snakes… we’re not biased around here. We just want rescues who have found fabulous homes! Check out all the R.O.A.R. Squad members HERE.

Recruiting for:


  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • Nunavut


  • Idaho

Everywhere Else:

  • From somewhere else? Lemme know!

If your state/province/territory isn’t on this list, THAT’S OKAY! We still need you to join! Just keep your eyes and ears out for rescue owners from these places for me, k? Thanks!

4 Responses to “R.O.A.R. Squad: Debi and her dogs Brock, Chelsea, Lilly and Ashley, and her cat, Mac”

  1. Kari says:

    This is such a great program!


  2. Heather says:

    Wow, you have quite the household! Thanks for all you do – you have a wonderful organization. Welcome to the squad!

  3. Kristine says:

    Wow, another amazing person who is working so hard to change animals’ lives. These posts are always so humbling. What an awesome organization!

  4. @Kari- It is, they do so much!

    @Heather- I am so inspired by these guys!

    @Kristine- I am constantly humbled as well- the way people dedicate themselves to this cause over and over and over again. I hope to meet as many of these people as I can at some point!