Race for Life Rescue’s vision is to reduce euthanasia in overcrowded shelters by relocating animals to a safe and peaceful haven that will give them every opportunity to find a loving, forever home.

What We Do

We rescue animals from overpopulated shelters, areas affected by natural disaster, and unhealthy living environments and fly them to locations where they have a better chance to be adopted into loving homes.

How We Do It

With a state-of-the-art airplane and team of dedicated pilots, we fly animals in gentle, safe, and secure conditions. We make every effort to minimize any stress or anxiety they might experience. Transporting them by air ensures they arrive at their new destination as quickly as possible.


Where We Operate

While Nashville, TN is our homebase, we’re able to transport animals and fly rescue missions all over the United States.

Our Mission

At Race for Life Rescue, we believe every animal deserves a safe, healthy environment where they can flourish. By providing swift and efficient air transportation for animals in life-threatening situations, we ensure they not only survive, but thrive in locations where they have a chance to live the life they deserve. 

Jim DeFrancesco - Founder

The Current Situation

Each year, over 50% of euthanasia occurs in Texas, California, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana. These shelters are so overcrowded they euthanize for space.

These are typically municipal shelters that take in a vast population of stray animals and owner surrender pets, many of which are in communities that don’t have the resources to spay and neuter their animal population.

In the United States, ONLY 48% of shelters operate under no-kill standards.

Facts You Should Know

44.3 Million companion animals entered the U.S. shelter system in 2021 

Approximately 347,000 shelter animals are euthanized annually

6 states count for over 50% of shelter euthanasias in the country

Race For Life Rescue In Numbers




0 +





Be a Champion For The Animals

We’re asking everyone to consider a monthly gift to Race for Life Rescue. Monthly gifts are the best, most effective way for you to help us continue rescuing animals and ensuring they have long, happy lives. 

The Sky Is Not The Limit

By building long-lasting, supportive relationships with our partners, we’re able to raise the bar by maximizing our missions and expanding our rescue territory. You’re not simply our partner, but an ally for animals. 

Pet Co-Pilot of the Month

Get To Know: Willow

The Guardian Crew appointed “Willow” as the (Co-Pilot) Co-Pet of the month. She humored the crew with her good temper and spent most of the time during the transfer curled up next to the Chief Pilot.

She seemed excited to disembark at the airport in Nashville and head towards her new home.

Success Stories Gallery

Flying to Save More Lives

We never lose sight of what’s at stake if we don’t complete our mission. We aim to safely transport as many cats and dogs as we can from overcrowded shelters to new adoption partners across the US.

Our Partners

Get On Board Now!

Race For Life Rescue intends to become one the largest animal air transport programs in the country. We are building a passionate team of pilots and animal advocates to increase our animal rescue operation and conduct multiple rescue missions each week.

We need your help. Every donation, each partnership, and all our volunteers are vital in helping us achieve our goal of providing thousands of animals with a new life, in a forever home.