We spoke to Kara Pollard of Dog Is My CoPilot (DIMC) recently to get some insight on their incredible non-profit.
DIMC operates out of Jackson Wyoming but services the entire Rocky Mountain, Southwest and Pacific Regions. They partner with shelters throughout these areas with two smaller planes to help transport the animals from shelters that don’t have enough room for them to shelters where they have a greater chance of getting adopted.
We want to thank Dog Is My CoPilot for all that they do and for being an amazing advocate for animals!
Lens And Leash: What made you decide to transition from being the Executive Director at the AAC to the Executive Director at Dog Is My CoPilot ?
Kara Pollard: I was at a point in my career that I wanted to expand my reach in animal welfare. I really loved my time at the Animal Adoption Center but it was time to spread my wings! Joining the DIMC family was a perfect fit and supporting a transport mission for shelter animals has been very important to me. I love having the opportunity to partner with animal rescue groups all over the country and feel that transport programs are a huge piece of the puzzle to solving the animal overpopulation issue along with spay/neuter and adoption programs.
Lens And Leash: What made you team up with Peter Rork and Judy Zimet for DIMC?
Kara Pollard: Since DIMC’s inception in 2012 I have thought so highly of this organization. During my time at the Animal Adoption Center – I got to know Dr. Rork and Judy very well while receiving many animals on DIMC flights to find forever homes in our Valley. A really special dog named “Olivia” who came via DIMC from a group we partnered with in Merced, CA called New Beginnings for Merced County Animals really touched my heart. This is an amazing group and the director Sharon Lohman is the most incredible women who was one of DIMC first transport partners! Needless to say, Olivia found an amazing home in Jackson after my family fostered her for 6 months during her medical recovery. I personally have been very impacted by the work DIMC does and I am honored to be part of the DIMC family!
Lens And Leash: What is the average number of animals needing to be transported to new shelters each month?
Kara Pollard: Countless numbers of animals are in need of transport from one overcrowded location to locations that have space and room to adopt them. From about April – November we have about 6-8 rescue flights booked/month. We transport on average 2,500 animals each year.
Lens And Leash: What is your goal for DIMC for 2018?
Kara Pollard: Our goal for 2018 is to fly our 10,000th passenger. To date we have flown just over 8,000!
Lens And Leash: Is there an area of the West that needs your services more than others?
Kara Pollard: Most of the South Western states experience the most problem with pet overpopulation which is why we find source shelters from these states and fly animals generally up north to organizations that have room and the resources to adopt them out. We have a specific flying region we stay within to maximize the number of lives we can save.
Lens And Leash: If we could help you in any way possible what would you ask for?
Kara Pollard: Help share our story with your friends and supporters!
Lens And Leash: If someone wanted to donate in any way they could, what would you ask for first?
Kara Pollard: That’s a good question, because we are a non-profit and rely on public donations to support our mission we would ask for donations. DIMC never chargers the sending or receiving groups we fly for; this is a service we want to provide at no expense to the shelters and rescue organizations. Pilot Peter donates ALL of his flying time so for each $1 donated .96 cents goes directly to saving animal lives!
Lens And Leash: What is the biggest thing DIMC has overcome so far since starting in 2012?
Kara Pollard: Finding and purchasing the “Big Dog” our nickname for our transport plane; a Cessna Grand Caravan that can fit anywhere from 50-250 animal passengers on board. For the first 3 years of operation we flew a smaller aircraft that could only fit up to 40-50 animal passengers at one time.
Lens And Leash: How do you encourage people to adopt instead of purchasing an animal?
Kara Pollard: We are always promoting adoption as a reliable way to finding a new pet. We promote this through our mission. We love the saying: ADOPT if you cant adopt FOSTER if you cant foster SPONSOR if you cant sponsor VOLUNTEER if you cant volunteer DONATE if you cant donate EDUCATE!
Lens And Leash: How often do flights take place to rescue animals?
Kara Pollard: During our busiest flying season from April –November we have anywhere from 6-8 rescue flights per month
Lens And Leash: Do you have any current projects going on or coming up?
Kara Pollard: YES! “Flying Them Home” Campaign – Launching April 6th. DIMC is poised to save our 10,000th passenger and many more this year, and we will need your help! Stay tuned for more details coming from www.dogcopilot.org on April 6th.
Lens And Leash: On average how many animals are transported in one flight?
Kara Pollard: 50-150 animals
Lens And Leash: Are the animals taken from numerous shelters and dropped at different shelters or do they all come from one shelter and are delivered to one shelter?
Kara Pollard: Usually we pick up from 1 or 2 source shelters and deliver from anywhere from 2-6 receiving partners.
Lens And Leash: If your dogs Sydney and Queenie were super heros who would they be?
Kara Pollard: I’d say if Peter Rork can be categorized as a Super Hero that is who they would be! We need more people like Pilot Peter who donate all of their time and resources to help save shelter animals. You can read more about Dr. Peter Rork on this page: https://dogcopilot.org/about-us/
To learn more about Dog Is My CoPilot, you can check out their website here: https://dogcopilot.org/