Rescue dogs get second chance with family thanks to local nonprofit

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- One of two rescued dogs who got a first-class private jet ride last week for some much needed orthopedic surgery returned home Wednesday to a new family.

"It was totally a surprise," said 10-year-old Lawson Rhodes. Lawson and his 7-year-old sister Emmy didn't know they were getting a dog until they arrived at Piedmont Triad International Airport Wednesday with their parents Chris and Claire Rhodes.

"We were told we were going to our dads work party," Emmy said.

The two rescue dogs got a second chance thanks to Dr. David Crouch, a volunteer and pilot with Pilots N Paws.

Pilots N Paws is a volunteer non-profit that helps transport adoptable rescued animals.

Dr. Crouch, a surgeon with Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery in Asheville, also volunteered his services.

"We are not only saving their lives but giving this little puppy a chance at a home," Crouch said. "These two adorable children, the smiles on their faces and waging tail of a puppy makes it all worth it."

Crouch picked up Mulligan, a 22-month old Black Lab and Eli, a 6-month old Toy Poodle, last week and transported them to his clinic.

Eli, rescued from an animal hoarding case in Rockingham County, suffers from Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease.

Mulligan was given up by her owner to be euthanized after falling off a deck and breaking two legs.

Both were rescued by Finding Great Homes Rescue in Greensboro who reached out to Pilots N Paws for help. Eli is going home with the Rhoades.

Eli is expected to make a full recovery quickly, while Mulligan will have at least 8 weeks of recovery ahead.

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