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Sweet Goblin is Saved for a Better Life – A Success Story

Mission – Getting Goblin to an Amazing Future

Goblin was an amazing dog to fly. You could sense there were great things to happen for him in his new future. And as we learned, people had already made great sacrifices to save this stray.

Mission Participants

Sending Rescue: Shelter Rescue
Volunteer Driver: Matt Smith Crew:
Steve Rhode – Pilot
Pam Rhode – Logistics Coordinator/Dog Flight Attendant
Receiving Rescue: LaMancha Animal Rescue
LaMancha Volunteers: Cecilia, Allan and Ella

Goblin’s Story

Kristin from Wilson County contacted us about a dog that needed to be flown to LaMancha Animal Rescue from Wilson, North Carolina. LaMancha Animal Rescue is located outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He was currently in a foster home and they loved him there. Goblin is a three-year-old Pitt who was found as a stray and wound up in the animal shelter in Wilson, North Carolina.

The shelter thought that they had found his owner but no one showed up to claim him. Normally strays are give a three to five day grace period for someone to collect them before being put down but the staff loved Goblin so much that he literally stayed in the shelter for two months. Other dogs were euthanized to keep Goblin alive.

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Finally, LaMancha agreed to take him and he was put in a foster home until transportation could be arranged and he was neutered. His foster really hated to see him go. We’re told that they cried that last night and the morning they had to say goodbye. They said he’s great with other dogs and kids and is full of energy.

Originally we were to leave from our home airport in Raleigh, North Carolina and fly to Rocky Mount, North Carolina to pickup Goblin but the weather was terrible in Rocky Mount so we opted to see if someone could drive Goblin to us. Matt, an awesome volunteer over in Wilson was good enough to bring Goblin to Raleigh.


It was so cold the morning of the flight that we had to preheat the engine with our special homebuilt hairdryer and sleeping bag contraption before we could start the plane.

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Matt and Goblin arrived at the Raleigh airport and Goblin was ready to run. He’s very strong and we thought that he was going to pull Pam right off her feet and run dragging her, flailing behind him. After he went potty, Matt said his goodbyes and we were off to get settled in the airplane.

While the plane was fueled and readied for the flight, Pam walked Goblin around and around the hangars to tire him out a little. After four trips around the hangars, Pam finally got to the point where she could actually walk behind him without the feeling of being dragged.

We loaded Goblin in the plane and at first it was questionable if he was going to let Pam get int he plane. He was hogging the whole backseat. He spread himself out like he was king. But he finally let Pam in and he rested his head on her lap.


He was a great passenger and seemed to really like the flight. He’s a very warm blooded dog and didn’t get cold at all like some of our furry passengers do. Pam loved the way his ears would cock up and flair outward when he heard something unfamiliar to him. While we flew, every once in a while he would look up at Pam and give her kisses.

He’s such a sweet boy, we can’t image why someone would give him up. It’s possible they couldn’t afford the fees to reclaim him.

When we landed at the Coatesville airport in Pennsylvania, Cecilia, Allan and Ellie were waiting for us. Goblin couldn’t wait to get out of the plane and meet everybody. Everyone loved him. The ground crew walked him around while we got out of the plane and Allan drove up to the plane.


The Coatesville airport is one of the dog friendliest airports we’ve ever seen. Instead of mints on the counter inside they have dog biscuits. It must be the official landing airport for LaMancha Animal Rescue.

Before we left Goblin came up to give Pam one more kiss and she wished him a happy life and a loving family for he deserved it. He’s such a wonderful dog. Even Steve got some Goblin hugs before Goblin jumped up in the back of Cecilia’s and Allan’s van so he could sit with Cecillia as they drove to LaMancha to find him only the best of homes.


We were worried about the weather back in Raleigh and didn’t even have time to take much of a break. We said goodbye to everyone, visited the restrooms and jumped back in the plane for another 2.5 hours in the air to try to get home before dark.

It’s a good thing we left when we did since we had to make an instrument landing back home as the sun was setting.

Mission Photos

To see many more photos from this flight, click here.

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