Deanna and her packIf there is a will, there is a way. Deanna Bliuvas is no stranger to that phrase; in fact, she embodies the very essence of it. This Toronto native, who now calls the Ottawa area her home, has been a longtime advocate for animal welfare and rescue. Her own pack of rescues consists of two cats (Watson and Sherlock), and lucky dogs Minnie II, BB, and Kermit.

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, Friendly Giants Dog Rescue, NOLA Lab Rescue, Save My Tail and IFAW are just a handful of the organizations lucky enough to have had her on their team. It was one particular rescue endeavor in Quebec that firmly set in motion a chain of events that leads us to Deanna today: a founding member of Operation Sled Dogs and the Senior Transport Coordinator and Board Member for Pilots N Paws Canada

To set the scene: a cold winter in Quebec, a sled dog operation in trouble and huskies with an unthinkable end awaiting them. Enter Deanna and a group of dedicated volunteers, and a lady by the name of Gini Green. Add two weeks, $10000, 4 provinces, and you get 25 lives saved. Gini looked at all the efforts undertaken by Deanna during this rescue and realized a network for air transport needed to be built in Canada. Modeled from the best practice of the US based Pilots and Paws, Gini launched Pilots N Paws Canada in June 2012 with Deanna as one of her most valued co-pilots.

“An awesome rescue advocate, a passionate and caring individual and a great friend”.                   
- Gini Green (Founder & President of Pilots N Paws Canada)

Senior Transport CoordinatorIt begins with a phone call from a rescue organization requiring help to move an animal in their care. Deanna springs into action gathering all the necessary information and mobilizing her Canada-wide network of volunteers with Pilots N Paws Canada. As a senior transport coordinator with PNPC, she is the pivot point for all the logistics and volunteers involved in the intensive operation of rescue transport. Often times each transport requires problem solving and trouble shooting on the fly as conditions change in a blink of an eye. Deanna has even opened her home up multiple times to fostering animals enroute to their next destination.

Pilots N Paws Canada works with rescue and shelter organizations across Canada, to move animals at risk and in over-burdened environments, to other parts of Canada where their chances for adoption are greater and loving homes await them.

“I do it for the Canadian animals in need.  It is all about the animals.  When Pilots N Paws Canada launched, I knew I wanted to be a part of it ~ having been involved with transporting rescued dogs, by volunteer drivers, I had first-hand knowledge of the challenges in moving animals to the rescue organizations that could save their lives”.

It is all thanks to tireless volunteers like Deanna that animal rescue is made possible in Canada. Through her ongoing endeavors, she teaches us that every little bit of help we can give makes a difference, no matter how big or small the contribution.

Thank you to Gini Green and Deanna Bliuvas for the photos used in this article.

Head-Lites is pleased to be supporting Pilots N Paws Canada in their fundraising efforts to continue to transport animals to their forever homes across Canada. You can help by purchasing the PNPC collar where proceeds are donated to Pilots N Paws Canada. You can find the collars this weekend in the Pilots N Paws Canada Booth at Blessfest!