Williams, who has family in Macon, met Kristin Reid during one of her visits with relatives.
Reid has a 30-acre horse farm in Forsyth and has rescued some unadoptable dogs from local shelters and tries to foster others to keep them from being euthanized.
Unable to hold fundraisers this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reid found it difficult to take on more dogs. When she learned the Virginia foundation needed dogs to adopt out, the groups linked up with the Pilots N Paws volunteer pilot group.
Since the onset of COVID-19, the foundation has placed nearly 2,500 dogs in new homes.
While looking for adoptable dogs, the foundation discovered many rural shelters are struggling in the pandemic as facilities closed and more families turned in their animals due to financial strain.
But professionals working from home near Washington, D.C. are more amenable to taking on a new pet and are returning them at a lower rate than in previous years.
“The northern Virginia-D.C. area is actually having a hard time keeping up with the demand for rescue dogs,” Williams said.
Of 360 dogs rescued from Georgia this year by the group, about 200 traveled by transport vans from Albany in southwest Georgia.
This Nov. 13, 2020 photo provided by Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation shows a handler holding a rescue dog from Georgia in Falls Church, Va. Kim Williams, who volunteers for the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation says he has tapped into a puppy pipeline to bring some of Georgia’s homeless pet population to the mid-Atlantic region, where demand is outrunning the number of dogs available for adoption.(Kim Williams/The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation via AP)
Credit: Kim Williams
Credit: Kim Williams
Earlier this month, the group made their first flight to Macon to pick up Reid’s six dogs and deliver pet food and supplies.
The shorter travel time by air can relieve some travel stress for dogs like Sky, who has anxiety.
The foundation’s executive director, Dawn Wallace, served in the Air Force and spent nearly 12 years at Robins Air Force Base south of Macon. She hopes to continue rescuing animals from the South.
“I know of so many selfless and dedicated people in this area of Georgia who are helping to save and rescue animal lives,” Wallace wrote in an email. “Yet there is still such a prevalent need for continued relief to help reduce the number of homeless pets and save the lives of highly adoptable dogs.”