Derek Hassenpflug, CFP®, ChFC® is a certified financial planner and branch manager for the Kenwood Ameriprise office, but on weekends, you may very likely see him if you look to the sky. Derek earned his private pilot certificate in May of this year and these days thinks of himself as a ‘general aviation weekend warrior’ ….who also happens to have a big heart for dogs and giving of his time.
For those who know him and his volunteer work, it was probably of no surprise that as soon as he got his pilot certification he registered for Pilot N Paws, a nonprofit organization that, through private pilots willing to offer free transportation, connects people and organizations to save the lives of thousands of animals. Derek’s first route first came when he saw a notice of a black lab needing to be taken from a kill shelter in Campbellsville, Kentucky to the Cincinnati Lab Rescue. He brought his friend, Jack Finke along for the ride. Together they had a flight they will never forget. The dog had been abandoned in central Kentucky and ended up in an SPCA for awhile and was on path to being euthanized.
In Derek’s words…
“If I didn’t already have two dogs, he would have gone home with me. He slept the whole way back to Cincinnati. He is such a nice dog.
I don’t understand how people can just abandon dogs. We have a small black lab mix that we found wondering around Newport Aquarium eight years ago. She was chipped so we called the shelter and found her adoptive parents who told us she had run away. They said they had two dogs and asked if we wanted her. We love her so much.
Doing this is not inexpensive. I reserve and rent the airplane and pay all of my own expenses but it is great to be doing two of my passions. That trip to Campbellsville was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.”