Waxahachie Couple Combines Love of Aviation and Animals to Help Those Who've Been Abandoned

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A Waxahachie couple realized their love of flying and of animals go hand in hand. Corey Bonnell said his fondness of aviation started many years ago, thanks to his father.

“When I was early teens he built his own plane in the basement of the house back before airplane kits were cool,” said Bonnell.

His love of animals started as early as he can remember. So, when he realized he could merge the two, he and his wife Chris said they didn’t hesitate.

“It wasn’t really so much a conversation as it was a mind meld,” said Chris Bonnell. “When we found out oh this exists, of course we should do this.”

What they’d found was the organization Pilots N Paws. The non-profit brings together volunteers to arrange rescue flights to foster care or shelters for abandoned animals. The Bonnells have logged thousands of miles getting brief moments to get acquainted with new four-legged friends.

“Every time I’ve met a new animal, they’ll come right up to me,” said Corey Bonnell. “It’s kind of like they know they know that you’re animal people and they’ll come right up to you and they’re happy.”

The couple said the most difficult part of the volunteer work is hearing the stories of abandonment. The second most difficult part is resisting the urge to keep the dogs.

The Bonnells acknowledge that 2020 has been a hard year for many people. This mission that brought them joy and introduced them to kindred spirits. More than anything, they feel like it’s simply what they should be doing at such a time as this.

“I have a hobby that rather than just punch holes in the sky and burn up dead dinosaurs I’m going to use the airplane to do something good,” said Bonnell.

For more information on Pilots N Paws, go to https://www.pilotsnpaws.org/

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