Where do you turn when your heart is set on adopting a shelter dog who's stuck in a different state? To Pilots N Paws, a nonprofit that, with the help of more than 5,000 volunteer pilots, facilitates free passage to almost 15,000 animals each year. Three tail-wagging journeys:


After Inca, a Belgian Malanois, retired from service in Afghanistan, she came back to the U.S. to be adopted by her longtime handler, Joe Bane. But Inca had been dropped off in Florida, and Joe, who was living in Tennessee, couldn't collect her. Two free flights later, Inca bounded off a plane to join her old buddy.


In 2011, Jersey, a Labrador mix, was rescued from a kill shelter; flown to Pleasant Plain, Ohio; and adopted. Her new owner: a nurse at a convent in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where Jersey became a big hit with the sisters. Today, both her owner and Jersey are retired—but she still makes time to visit her devout fans.


When Maddy was found in Alabama, the abused bloodhound had kidney failure and had been shot in the hip. But after seeing her on a rescue site (she'd since been taken to Florida), Angela Fletcher, who works in a Tennessee sheriff's office, knew she'd found the one. Now they've joined forces to locate missing people.


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