Steklenski, meanwhile, completed his flight training and got his license. “I thought, ‘What am I going to do with it?’” he remembers. “A lot of guys just fly around and go to restaurants and do stuff like that. I can’t do that. I have to have a reason to put a plane in the air.”
Steklenski started doing some missions for Pilots N Paws, a group that coordinates volunteer pilots with animal rescue organizations that need help with transporting animals. But he kept feeling like even more animals could be saved if he started making the connections on his own. So that’s what he did in 2015, founding Flying Fur Animal Rescue. He would rent planes from Pennsylvania, where he’s based, and fly to North Carolina and then back up to the New York area.