Pilot Flies Around the Country Saving Condemned Dogs

Zach Bryson spends his free time hopping around the country to transport condemned canines to rescue groups in style.

Zach Bryson is flying around the country saving dogs from high-kill shelters.
Zach Bryson is flying around the country saving dogs from high-kill shelters.

By Penny Arévalo

Torrance, Calif. – Pilot Zach Bryson is flying around the country on a mission of mercy – saving dogs from high-kill shelters.

In this report from CBS Los Angeles, Bryson shares what motivates him to shuttle four-legged passengers.

“In the U.S., we euthanize about three-to-four million dogs per year,” Bryson told CBS. “There’s actually a lot of homes available for those dogs, if we could just get them here.”

Redondo Beach resident and rescuer Rebecca Chambliss found Bryson and his Bryson Air throughPilots For Paws, which like it sounds, connects pilots with those seeking to place dogs who would otherwise be euthanized into new homes.

“He’s been amazing,” Chambliss said of Bryson’s recent effort to fly nearly a dozen Finnish Lapphunds from a hoarder in Northern California to Los Angeles. She told CBS: “He volunteered not only one, but two planes to fly up and get the dogs and bring them back here.”

Bryson said flying dogs makes the transport much quicker and more bearable – and is often cheaper than arranging ground transportation.

He volunteers his time and fuel, as he jets – OK, maybe jets isn’t the right word – around in his 1979 Grumman Tiger plane.

Bryson just focuses on the dogs. On his Facebook page, he calls what he does “freedom flights.”

Nonnie February 18, 2014 at 03:48 PM
Wow what a selfless, amazing man.
Carol Fine Hart February 18, 2014 at 03:58 PM
But he lives in California. We have pilots doing the same thing here in NJ.
Heather Cohick Cardy February 18, 2014 at 04:19 PM
We have at least one pilot doing this from Heritage Field in Limerick...my husband. He's only completed a couple of rescues, but loves it. :-)
GoodPig February 18, 2014 at 04:53 PM
He's an angel.
Lisbeth Allen February 18, 2014 at 06:03 PM
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Mom Gina is a lovely person that has done foster care work for children. Hooray for the Bryson family.
sherry February 18, 2014 at 08:11 PM
A true hero!!! Thank YOU!!!
Brad Koehn February 19, 2014 at 12:35 AM
I fly for pilots and paws in Minnesota. It's a nice organization.
John February 19, 2014 at 07:59 AM
If only people put as much time and resources helping PEOPLE instead of animals..........
inthegloaming February 19, 2014 at 08:51 AM
If only people like John would put as much time into helping people and animals instead of being a heartless armchair judge online . . . .
KD Q February 19, 2014 at 09:11 AM
Maybe if 'people' were as selfless and worth saving, more individuals would get off their asses and save others. Until then... This guy is an amazing man of character regardless
Brad Koehn February 19, 2014 at 09:42 AM
John, The requirements most organizations like Angel Flight (which arranges flights for patients and their families to treatment at the volunteer pilots' expense) have for pilots are, as one might imagine, fairly stringent. Speaking for myself, I don't yet meet those requirements, but I'm currently training to get my commercial pilot's certificate at a cost of several thousand dollars just so that I can fly for Angel Flights (I have no desire to fly professionally). In the mean time I need to have 250 hours flight time to get the commercial certificate, which I'm fulfilling with some flights for Pilots-n-Paws. Not that any of that is your business. You might be better served helping people rather than judging them.
JJ Mclure February 19, 2014 at 10:04 AM
people have gov't....animals don't and they are better than people
Arthur Vecchiotti February 19, 2014 at 11:32 AM
What he does is a beautiful thing, but what does this have to do with "local news" ???
powersurges February 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM
I love this and am so happy to see more and more people doing things to help animals. As for people... well many are so selfish, its a lost cause!
Judi Cornfield February 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM
Yes there are other people out there saving animals from all over. I love this guy and any other pilots willing to save all these animals. I'm not getting into people since they're the ones that put these babies in bad places. Some of us speak for animals that can't help themselves.
Danielle Charney February 19, 2014 at 01:10 PM
Love him- there are many homes for dogs if they can get there-so true- for instance- no Chi's in New England but thanks to Paris Hilton- hundreds here- Pam Anderson has paid to have them flown and many others to places where dogs of many breeds- not just Chi's can be saved- many great people do this for all sorts of dogs and animals- but having pilots with their own planes do it is the best- they also help kids and people - we love them - part of why we need and love SMO- those who say "why don't they do it for people" they do- plenty do it for people- as far as I am concerned- animals are the better species anyway- look at the mess we have made- rock on Zach- you are the best- thank you
powersurges February 19, 2014 at 01:34 PM
^^^ Well said :)
Val February 19, 2014 at 02:04 PM
So nice to see a good thing in the news for a change! Someone commented that he would like to see this kind of help focused on people instead of animals. Perhaps you don't understand that by helping these dogs, these dogs in turn benefit many people. As well as many who become family pets and companions; some go on to be search & rescue dogs, service dogs, hospice dogs or work with K9 units. Some dogs have been trained to sniff out anything from bedbugs to cancer! A good many dogs in service for humans were on the short list to be euthanized. We would have missed out on all those talented dogs that were otherwise responsible for benefitting humanity. This is a win-win if I ever saw one!!
Ericus Alanas February 19, 2014 at 02:24 PM
So nice to hear.
AlwaysPO'd February 19, 2014 at 10:51 PM
What a coincidence. My dog is traveling around the country saving condemned pilots.
Reality February 19, 2014 at 11:22 PM
Great story Save the kitties too Meow


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