Flight Log

Resources and Stories from Angel Flight West.

AFW’s New Partnership with The Service Dog Connection

In addition to flying passengers to their far-off medical care, Angel Flight West provides services for other compelling needs, including flights for our furry, four-legged friends. One of those newest partnerships took off last week with the The Service Dog Connection in Bend, OR, an organization that places trained service dogs with families to support individuals with disabilities.

“We had our first mission for The Service Dog Connection to fly Guillermo, the 150 lb Saint BerNewfie, to his new home,” says AFW Mission Coordinator Julia. “It was determined that Guillermo was most needed as a First Responder Therapy Dog, doing fire and police station visits, peer support, and critical incident debriefs to help reduce the rates of PTSD among the First Responder community.”

New volunteer pilot John Romero of the Idaho wing flew his first AFW mission, flying Guillermo halfway to his new home. Mark Duncan, an AFW volunteer pilot with decades of fire and rescue experience, signed up to fly the second leg, even bringing Guillermo a firefighter hat to honor the occasion. “There was no way around the inclement weather for Mark’s flight, so Mark flew Guillermo back home to Las Vegas and drove him all the way to Flagstaff, Ariz. to meet his handler,” says Julia. “It takes a village!”

Just a few days later, AFW flew its second mission for The Service Dog Connection. Bill Sutherland of the Oregon wing flew Elliot from San Luis Obispo to Bend to complete his final service dog training. This time, Julia, a dog lover herself, got to fly along as a Mission Assistant. “It was both mine and Command Pilot Bill Sutherland’s first mission,” says Julia. “It was so much fun. I’m thrilled that we’re able to help more people by flying these sweet dogs to where they’re needed most.” 

Angel Flight West is proud to partner with other organizations that train canines for important roles, including the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation and Silver State Service Dogs.

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