The fur flies

The Berry's were contacted by Kate's sister, who sits on the board at the Animal Welfare League, to help transport Molly. The League helps place pets that are adopted via Web site's like PetFinder.com.

The Berry's started out in Hagerstown, Maryland, and flew to Elkins, West Virginia on Dec. 23. Bad weather in Elkins delayed their trip and it was then to late to fly the rest of the way to New York. They stopped back in Maryland, spent the night at home and then left on Christmas Eve day to get to New York, Kate Berry said.

Again problems arose, this time with Berry's landing gear, and he could not fly.

With some help from his mechanic, though, he was able to repair the plane and make the trip. Milanese offered to drive to Newburgh, rather than have the couple fly to Albany International Airport, to shave some time off of his trip, since it was Christmas Eve.

"She growled at me when she first saw me," Milanese said.

But so far, the dog has been well behaved considering it was a stray and had to endure a good deal of travel, Milanese said.

She praised the work of people who help bring dogs around the country so they can have a home.

"They go through great lengths to find a nice home for little doggies," she said of the volunteers who help cart animals across the country.

Kate Berry said the trip was worthwhile, although it was touch and go to get back for Christmas Eve dinner before 5 p.m. But in the end, "it all worked out perfectly," she said.

Her and her husband love dogs, and he loves to fly, she said.

"This is going to be a thing we do," Berry said. Even though it's optimal to transport in warmer weather, they will continue to volunteer their time to help prevent sheltered animals from being euthanized.

This is the second time Curtis has volunteered to fly a dog.

Six months ago Curtis, a pilot of about five years, made his first flight delivering Basset Hounds from Kentucky. Now, he said whenever he is called to help, he will.

"When the dog has to go, the dog has to go," He said.

Curtis said he was happy to help, and noted that there are a number of pilots who volunteer there time in a similar fashion to help animals in need.

"We want to get these dogs out of shelters and into homes," he said.


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