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Updates from Brave Tide: Meet Tess & Tide!


Hello, and thanks for stopping by!

We know things have been quiet here lately, as no recent flight missions have been scheduled, but we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce our latest Brave Tide ambassadors: Tess and Tide!

Tess and Tide, sisters from the same litter, traveled from GPA Tampa to their forever home in the Hilt household in December 2017! They have been such wonderful companions and enjoy playing with the kids, running together in the yard, and spending their days lazily lounging on the sofas.

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We’re thankful to have Tess and Tide in our lives, and if you have the chance, take a look back through some of our favorite Brave Tide missions shared here (a few of our favorites are the puppy flight, a look at flying to forever homes, and one of the times when Brave Tide was featured in the news: Six Greyhounds jet set from Florida to Central PA in search of a permanent home!

If you’re looking to bring a greyhound (or two or three!) into your family, many adoption groups currently have long wait lists due to the response and interest to adopt following the passing of Amendment 13 in Florida which essentially ended greyhound racing effective the end of 2020. Please be patient in your commitment to adopt, and reach out to your local adoption groups for guidance. In the meantime, get involved and volunteer, or donate to your favorite animal welfare organization.

Thank you for visiting and your continued support!

Goodbye to Lily


When we adopted Lily the greyhound in 2010, she quickly became a best friend to her big sister London. London was quiet and reserved while Lily had an outgoing and playful spirit. They enjoyed spending time together and quickly became inseparable. After London passed away a few months ago, Lily’s eagerness to snuggle and cuddle with family members seemed to grow.

The cold winter months were made to feel a lot warmer with Lily by our sides. Just as winter began to give way to spring, Lily began to limp. As we did with London, we immediately sought medical attention for Lily. The X-rays revealed cancer, and it is with tremendous sadness that we share the news that Lily passed away.

At Brave Tide, our mission is to save lives one flight at a time. We know firsthand how much joy the animals we transport bring to their forever families. While very sad, the passing of our greyhounds opens our home to more dogs waiting to join their forever families. London and Lily will live on in our hearts, and they will continue to inspire us on the ground and in the air.

Stay tuned for more information about future transport missions. Thanks for your support and encouragement!



New Year


A special thank you to all of the animal welfare organizations, volunteers, donors, and sponsors for supporting our efforts. The milestones we reached in 2015 were due to the generosity of individuals, families, and groups across the country. Many homes welcomed new 4-legged family members this year, and many more families will open their homes and hearts in 2016. Thanks for the support throughout the year. Stay tuned for information about our ambitious plans for 2016 and beyond! Below are links to support our efforts and a few photos from 2015.



Via Check:
Brave Tide Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 735
Boyertown, PA 19512

Brave Tide Foundation Receives Grant from ASCPA

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We are thrilled to announce that the Brave Tide Foundation is the recipient of a generous grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASCPA) to help fund Brave Tide’s animal transport flight operational expenses.

Brave Tide has transported 70 animals to their foster and forever homes in 2014 covering over 15,000 miles in the process. The grant funds will allow the Foundation to transport many more animals and continue to fulfill our mission throughout the remainder of 2014.

Dr. Jason Hilt, Brave Tide Foundation president, said, “We are very appreciative of the ASPCA for their contributions to our animal transport efforts. Through the ASPCA’s generosity, Brave Tide can continue its transport services to help animals in need. We are so grateful to the ASPCA for this contribution and are happy to have the support of such an incredible animal welfare organization.”

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach, grant making, and animal health services. Since 2008, the ASPCA has awarded more than $60 million to over 5,500 animal welfare programs in the United States. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Fall 2014

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As you can see from the map, we have travelled many miles to help animals in need in 2014. Our home airport was fortunate to receive state and federal grant funds to complete a runway resurfacing project. With the resurfacing project underway, we have time to reflect on the completed flights and plan our next round of transport flights. The fall and winter bring cooler temperatures and smoother air aloft so we look forward to our upcoming flights!

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New Sponsor Opportunities

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Since the start of 2014, Brave Tide has helped transport over 70 animals. The transports are funded by donations and grants covering fuel and airport fees. We continue to expand our missions based on incredible demand and hope to transport many animals in the future.

What is the new sponsor program? We created a new sponsorship program that allows organizations and businesses to add their logo to the Brave Tide airplane. The logos are created by a great local business, Graber Letterin’ Inc., and are noticed at every airport we visit. Graber Letterin’ Inc. created the Petco Foundation logo that currently adorns the Brave Tide plane. See below for a photo of the logo. Sponsor logos will also be included on the Brave Tide website and apparel. Sponsors are needed to keep Brave Tide flying and to help animals in need. Information about the sponsor program is available on the sponsor page: Sponsors

Why are sponsors needed immediately? Maintenance on the Brave Tide plane was completed in July and all issues were addressed. No issues were deferred so the plane is in the absolute safest flying condition. The attention to detail, coupled with the cost of aviation parts and labor, resulted in a large expense. We also covered the majority of the flight expenses for many of the transport flights in 2014 resulting in a rapid decrease of available funds. Moving forward, we outlined a funding model that will allow us to continue flying frequently while keeping the necessary reserves for emergency flights and maintenance expenses.

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Petco Foundation logo created by Graber Letterin’ Inc.

Avionics Upgrade

Bay Bridge

While the weather outside is frightful, the Brave Tide airplane is undergoing an avionics upgrade. The goal of the upgrade is to improve safety for the pilots and passengers and increase situational awareness in adverse weather conditions. The work includes a WAAS upgrade, installation of an Aspen Evolution EFD1000 Pro PFD, integration of the collision avoidance system, and removal of obsolete equipment to free up valuable panel space. We are looking forward to flying with the new and improved equipment. Photos of the upgrade will be posted as they become available.

Current panel (before upgrades):






The work is progressing without any major issues. The obsolete avionics equipment was removed along with many feet of old wire, zip ties, and mounting brackets. Removing the old equipment creates space for the new equipment and also decreases the overall weight of the plane increasing the useful load.

Panel with equipment removed:

Panel_upgrade_1Some of the old wire and connectors:


View from inside the cabin:





Brave Tide Airplane Arrives


After months of planning, preparation, and searching, the Brave Tide Foundation purchased a Piper Cherokee Six to serve the Foundation for many years to come. Jason Hilt, the Foundation’s president, flew the aerial workhorse home to Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in mid-December. The flight to Brave Tide’s home airport covered 900 miles over Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The Cherokee Six was chosen based upon a few major factors: range, capacity, cost per mile, and reliability. The aircraft can fulfill most Brave Tide missions non-stop, can haul over 1,300 pounds, costs only about $1 per mile to operate, and has very low maintenance costs. The Foundation is currently scheduling transport missions for January and February. Please consider supporting future missions by sending a tax-deductible donation using the Paypal link on the main page or by check to the address on the contact page. Every dollar raised goes directly to fund rescue flights.

The route from Arkansas to Pennsylvania:


View of the Mississippi river along the route:



View of the Appalachian Mountains along the route:



View of the Maryland landscape along the route



Brave Tide ambassadors inspect the airplane:


Brave Tide Foundation Awarded $25,000 Petco Foundation Grant


It is with sincere gratitude and much excitement that the Brave Tide Foundation announces we are the recipients of a $25,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to fund animal welfare and other humanitarian efforts across the country.

The Petco Foundation grant, along with the financial commitment of the Brave Tide President, contributed to the purchase of a Piper aircraft that will be utilized for the transport of animals for rehoming, fostering, and relocation. Through the partnerships we have established with a number of national and international animal rescue groups, we will utilize the airplane to transport animals, supplies and other resources.

Dr. Jason Hilt, Brave Tide Foundation President and CEO, explained, “Every day, neglected or abandoned animals need our assistance. Working with animal rescue organizations, we provide the transportation that is a key link in the rescue process. Now, through the generosity of the Petco Foundation, Brave Tide has the ability to extend this service all over the country.”

The airplane purchase process took many months and the result is a plane that should serve the Foundation for years to come. In the past, renting airplanes to conduct Foundation missions was difficult due to scheduling issues, airplane maintenance schedules, and weather delays. Having an airplane available 24/7 will provide the flexibility to expand the reach of Brave Tide support. The aircraft will be arriving at Brave Tide headquarters in Pennsylvania in early December and our website will provide photos and updates for each mission flown.

Animal transports are conducted based upon need and are funded through donations and grants. Why air transport? Although air transport is more expensive than ground transport, the advantages of air travel for the animal’s overall well-being are significant. Greatly reduced travel time and a climate-controlled aircraft cabin result in less stress on the animals versus travel by van or hauler. Air transport also gives our foundation nationwide reach and the ability to pick up and deliver animals to multiple states in a single day.

About Petco and the Petco Foundation

The Petco Foundation has served as a voice for companion animals across the country since 1999. Today, with more than 8,000 local animal-welfare partners across the country, the Petco Foundation donates approximately $15 million a year to make a difference in the lives of millions of animals. The organization is funded through donations raised during fundraisers conducted in Petco’s more than 1,200 stores across the country, as well as from Petco associates, vendors and corporate contributions. Money raised helps fund animal-welfare organizations, spay and neuter efforts, animal-assisted therapy programs and humane education. The majority of the funds raised remain in the communities where they were raised, and the Petco Foundation is also involved in many national animal-welfare efforts.

In 2012, the Petco Foundation surpassed $100 million in funds raised for companion animals since the organization was created. To learn more, visit

Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that provides the products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,200 stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico, including more than 50 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop, and The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $110 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 350,000 animals every year.

Helping Heroes Month


The Petco Foundation has partnered with the Natural Balance pet foods company to honor the heroic animals that serve the human race. Service and military animals help protect us, bring us comfort in times of need, help provide therapy, and serve skillfully to offer assistance in many capacities. Petco describes more about the special roles these animals play on their Helping Heroes website:

The 1900’s brought more dogs into traditional service dog roles and also added new tasks for our benevolent friends. Dogs have followed us into battle since the Roman Empire but 9/11 highlighted service dogs who recovered people trapped and injured and required the largest deployment of dogs in U.S. history. On a different landscape, dogs are trained to perform skills to assist the homeless, jobless, disabled, disparate, isolated and ignored. Because dogs possess a keen sense of our needs and a pure and sincere devotion to help, they became instrumental in innovative and successful therapy programs. They transform lives by opening doors, ringing doorbells, sensing seizures, providing companionship and winning independence for their beloved master. There is no living creature on this earth that has earned our respect and awe more that the dog.


And in the new millennium dogs have company. The practice of using a dog’s intelligence and unconditional love to enhance the lives of individuals has expanded to companion animals of every size and shape. Fluffy rabbits with big ears listen when children who are victims of abuse or violence feel safe telling their story to no human. Pot bellied pigs restore the confidence of returning soldiers suffering with post traumatic stress disorder. Cats encourage verbal engagement in speech therapy for autistic children with the best explanation being provided by a young boy; “Cats have autism too so they understand us.”

From September 28 through October 20, you can make a donation to the Helping Heroes campaign directly at your local Petco store registers. Additionally, proceeds from every purchase of National Balance Legume or Duck food will be given directly to the Helping Heroes campaign.

Please join Brave Tide in helping to spread the word about this important campaign and efforts to raise awareness and funds to support our most heroic animal friends!

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