PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thousands of pounds of pet food is on its way to shelters and homes in Western Pennsylvania, thanks to the efforts of the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team.

PAART, which rescues dogs, cats and other animals and transports them to shelters and other safe places had to shut down its rescue efforts because of social distancing.

The founders say they still wanted to do something to help animals, and when they began hearing stories of animals in need of food, they knew what to do.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

With the approval of their board, PAART purchased 43,000 pounds of wet and dry pet food from a pet supply company in New York. This morning, that food arrived at PAART’s hangar at the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.

Some of the food was put on PAART’s planes and buses to be taken to area shelters and pet owners.

The pet food is going to be distributed to shelters and food banks in Western Pennsylvania and northeastern Kentucky.

PAART’s founders say it’s important to do their part, because for some pet owners, hard decisions may have to be made when they don’t have money to buy food for their pets.

They also want to provide food so animals who have to stay in shelters for a long time because of economic uncertainties, won’t be euthanized.

“If shelters are going to euthanize because of lack of food, you better believe we can do something about it, and that’s what we did,” said PAART co-founder Jonathan Plesset. “We made the purchase, and now we’re going to use our distribution channel to get this food to shelters to prevent needless euthanasian.”


“We’re going to fly every plane and drive every truck with one person, there will be zero contact with any other human being. We’re gonna use a forklift to put it on there, use the forklift to take it off. In and out and we’re gone,” Brad Childs, PAART co-founder, said.

PAART says it expects the food will all be delivered over the next several weeks.

They say anyone who is in need of pet food, should contact their local animal shelter or food bank.

Lisa Washington