REDONDO BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Pilot Zachary Bryson is taking the rescuing of dogs to new heights.
Bryan, an Orange County native who started a non-profit, Bryson Air, helps rescue dogs from difficult areas. These areas, including the deep South, are known for high euthanizing rates due to overcrowding.
Since the dogs in these areas are not within close proximity to enough rescuers, or people willing to give them a home, most of them are simply put down.
"In the U.S., we euthanize about three-to-four million dogs per year," Bryson said. "There's actually a lot of homes available for those dogs, if we could just get them here."
And that's exactly where Bryson steps — or flies — in.
With the use of his 1979 Grumman Tiger plane, Bryson flies the dogs to California, where there is a much greater number of rescuers with more resources and options, with more people to adopt them.
According to Bryson, many dogs barely survive the arduous journey of a van ride to their new rescues. By way of flight, however, Bryson gets the dogs to California within a matter of hours.
"We can take an airplane load to San Francisco, and the cost per dog is actually cheaper than sending them via ground," Bryson said.
Redondo Beach rescuer Rebecca Chambliss discovered the non-profit through the site Pilots For Paws, which connects dogs who need a home immediately with rescues that are in a position to help place them.
"He's been amazing," Chambliss said of Bryson's recent effort to fly nearly a dozen Finnish Lapphunds from a hoarder in Northern California to Los Angeles. "He volunteered not only one, but two planes to fly up and get the dogs and bring them back here."
The dogs rescued from Northern California had only known their previous owner, and were reported to never have been allowed out of their cages.
"There are more homes available here (in Southern California) locally," Chambliss said. "So they will find homes sooner, they'll go into foster homes, we'll get them taken care of at the vet, and they will find permanent, loving homes sooner."
While others praise Bryson's hard work, skill and generosity, he says that the ultimate goal is to find the dogs a good home, and that he is happy to help them out.
"When they get put to sleep for no good reason, it just makes me work that much harder."
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