Kevin Costner is supporting a charity that rescues dogs from death row.

The Orange Dog saves dogs which are about to be put down in overcrowded shelters by flying them to Canada, where they are found new homes. Last week, Costner flew from Colorado to Alberta with his own dog, Daisy, to raise awareness of the organization.

“When this plane is operating at its best, it’s not just taking people around the world, it’s hauling animals,” the actor told Access Hollywood. "[It’s] essentially an exchange of animals that were going to be euthanized. Instead of having that happen, they are now making their way to Canada, having a second chance at life.

“[The charity] spoke to my heart. The last dog that we saved… in two hours was going to be euthanized, and believe it or not, before we made it to Canada, the pilot adopted the dog.

“I think the first trip took 50-plus dogs, the second trip I think took 115 dogs all on this plane, so you can imagine this luxury, five-star piece of transportation just filled with animals that are going to get a second chance at life.”

The Orange Dog is the brainchild of Edmonton businesswoman and philanthropist, Jan Folk. As a friend and generous donor to numerous animal welfare charities, Jan leapt at the idea of a business purpose built to help animals in need.

Pets are among the most helpless victims of the current economic downturn. It’s a sad fact that hit solidly home with Folk when she learned of thousands of homeless dogs euthanized every year in California. The on-going tragedy was too much to ignore.

A life-long dog-lover herself, Jan took the situation personally and started looking for a hands-on-way to help. She reasoned that if she could come up with a clever way to save these poor animals, others might be inspired to do the same.

She took stock of the resources around her and tried to imagine a way to combine them to make a difference. As a frequent traveler with access to a private jet, she reasoned that when Long-Beach based Global Exec Aviation wasn’t flying celebrities (like Costner, in a 2008 flight to Edmonton) they could carry Shitzus. Global Exec Aviation President, Ramon Manriquez agreed and the first doomed dogs suddenly found themselves reprieved to wood-paneled luxury at 45,000 feet.

A native of California and dog lover himself, Kevin is proud to fly aboard the jet known for its lifesaving missions.

Find out more about The Orange Dog at the official website.

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