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Pilot Rescues Dogs From Puerto Rico and Finds New Best Friend

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Derek Harbaugh is a volunteer pilot with Wings of Rescue group, an organization that is helping rescue hundreds of animals whose lives were changed forever when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. Nearly 200 dogs and cats survived the storm, but needed rescuing as 85% of Puerto Rico is still in what seems like third-world living conditions.

Related: Little Dog Make Big Impact After Hurricane Maria by Saving Her Human’s Life

Many of the cats and dogs were stray or abandoned or surrendered, and one particularly caught Harbaugh’s eye when he saw her–Pinky. Harbaugh says that he helped put Pinky on the out-load truck and as he did, he felt that he was helping his dog.  He immediately knew he and Pinky were meant to be together, and he arranged for her to be fostered while he continued helping the other pets.

Last Hope K9 Rescue took care of Pinky while Harbaugh worked, and they were then reunited after a week of separation. Leigh Grady is with the Animal Shelter of Sterling, Massachusetts and says that it brings tears to her eyes knowing what trauma the dogs have seen.

Related: Army Veteran Buys His Own Plane To Fly Shelter Dogs to New Homes

Harbaugh says it brings tears to his eyes as well, knowing he’s helped so many find a chance at new life, and knowing that he’s found his new family member. He and Pinky will fly the blue skies together, and Harbaugh says that it’s just amazing.


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