• Local pilot on a mission to save dogs in danger


    PITTSBURGH - He’s the big dog in the sky.

    Brad Childs flies on the wings of the wind.

    He founded Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team, PAART, and flies to different parts of the country to rescue abused dogs and animals in critical condition.

    “These are the little guys that we have flown down here to get, guys. Seven little beautiful creatures," he said in some home video of one of his recent rescues.

    It’s his plane, his fuel and his time—all for free for the love of dogs.

    Behind the scenes, Childs and his brother, Norm, own the successful Eyetique stores.

    "We could take the plane and go get brunch or we could go see a theater show in New York and do something like that,” he said. “But we really only fly for two reasons: training and animal rescue" 

    PAART includes chief instructor Pete Lehmann and several volunteers.

    Piper, stricken with mange and near death, was another recent rescue.

    "She was found abandoned on the side of the road,” said her foster mom, Michele Werderber. “She was taken to a high kill shelter should could have been euthanized." 

    Weeks later, Piper is back with a new coat and a new future and just waiting for a new forever home.

    "It's amazing how great she looks," said Childs.

    Animal rescue groups said it wouldn’t be possible without Childs and PAART.

    "He goes out of his way above and beyond for the animals,” said Jennifer Bird, of Furkid Rescue.

    The Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team has flown hundreds of animals.

    Most are dogs, but they have also rescued cats, ducks and even the occasional pig or python.

    To learn more about PAART, click here.

    To inquire about adopting Piper or other rescued animals, contact Fur Kid Rescue.

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