It’s a bird! … It’s a plane! … It’s a Mariner?!

By Kirsten Allen

Posted: February 24, 2015

The Maritime Administration prides itself on the abundance of mariners at the agency, both active and retired, who are dedicated to improving the transportation network.  However, for some, like Scott Davies, their work in transportation extends beyond our nation’s waterways.

When Scott, a naval reservist and MARAD’s Acting Director for the Office of Marine Highways, is not ensuring the safe and efficient movement of freight across our inland waterways, he is transporting puppies across our skies.  

Working with City Dogs Rescue (CDR), a local Washington, DC volunteer-led organization, Scott, who earned his pilot’s license in 2013, flies adoptable dogs from overcrowded shelters where resources are severely limited to people who are looking for a new four-legged family member.

Posing with Roane County Animal Shelter volunteers at Boggs Field in Spencer, West Virginia.

“When I first got involved with the organization, I was transporting dogs by car,” said Scott.  “Driving over six hours one way, usually on a weeknight, can be quite exhausting.  So I found a smarter way to contribute and do what I love.”

Raised along the Florida coastline and a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, a career in maritime was a given for Scott.  However, his passion also lied in aviation – living just south of the Kennedy Space Center, he would always watch shuttle launches.

Most recently, Scott was joined by Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen, a retired nuclear submarine captain and also a licensed pilot, as they took to the skies to rescue four dogs, bringing them to new lives with adoptive families in the Washington, DC region. 

Departing from Tipton Airport near Fort Meade, Md., Scott and Administrator Jaenichen flew to West Virginia, where they were met by volunteers from the Roane County Animal Shelter.  Once the dogs were safely onboard, they quickly settled down, safe in the knowledge that a better life with loving families awaited them back in DC. 

“My favorite part of it all is landing back at the airport and watching the families meet up with the dogs,” said Scott.  “We deliver them right there on the ramp and both volunteers and adoptive families are ecstatic about seeing these dogs head to a new home.”

This trip marked the twelfth such flight that Scott has performed for CDR, which was founded in September 2011 to rescue adoptable dogs in overcrowded and high-kill rural shelters.  Many of the dogs in these shelters are often just days away from being euthanized. 

Rescue flights to rural areas provide CDR and their partner shelters with easy access to transports.  These partnerships, coupled with a network of over 300 volunteers, have allowed CDR to save over 1,200 dogs to date.

Rescued pups rest, knowing a better life awaits.
Helping load dogs for the Rescue Flight.
First rescue flight from Elizabethtown, North Carolina.