Pilots help Mesa shelter save 23 dogs from death

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Dan Weecks. and his friend Peyton will fly to Alabama to pick up the puppies on Thursday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dan Weecks. and his friend Peyton will fly to Alabama to pick up the puppies on Thursday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Many of the  rescued animals are puppies. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Many of the rescued animals are puppies. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The trip is costing the pilots thousands. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The trip is costing the pilots thousands. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

When the Follow Your Heart Animal Shelter heard a shelter in Alabama planned on putting down 23 dogs, they almost got in the car and drove 1,500 miles to rescue them. Since the hurricanes, shelters in the South have been inundated with strays they don’t have the capacity for.

“When you see the pictures and you look at their faces, you fall in love, instantly,” said shelter owner Debbie Varner.

Many of the animals are puppies. One is pregnant. Driving that distance would not be easy on them. So a volunteer at the shelter called up their friend, Dan Weecks.

"Now that I am hearing about all of these puppies being abandoned and being put on the kill list, since I know how to fly a plane I figured I might as well marry the two, do something good that not a lot of other people are able to do,” said Weecks.

He and his friend Peyton will fly a small plane to Alabama on Thursday to pick up the animals. They’ve done smaller rescues before but this will be the coziest. And most fragrant.

“I’ve learned to bring Vicks vapor rub to rub on your nose and crack the window,” he added.

The trip is costing the pilots thousands. It’ll cost thousands more for the nonprofit shelter to give their new pups the treatment they need so they're asking for the public's help.

Donations can be made at danweecks.com or followyourheartanimalrescue.org

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