Chicago restaurateur volunteers to fly rescue dogs and cats to their new homes

Catherine Garcia
·1 min read

As a restaurateur, life during the coronavirus pandemic is stressful, but Eduard Seitan has found something that relieves tension: flying rescue animals to their new homes, all across the United States.

Seitan came to the United States in 1992 from Romania, and began working his way up at restaurants in Chicago. He eventually became a partner in One Off Hospitality Group, opening 11 restaurants. The pandemic has hit the industry hard, and they have had to close some restaurants permanently and furlough hundreds of employees.

It's been "devastating," Seitan told Today, and one way he is coping is by volunteering with Pilots N Paws, a nonprofit that moves shelter cats and dogs at risk of being euthanized to foster families and no-kill rescues. Seitan owns an old airplane, and over the last two years has flown more than 40 animals to their new lives.

Seitan has two rescue dogs himself, and told Today he is in awe of how resilient the animals he meets are and their ability to trust. He recommends others get involved with volunteering because it "does so much to your soul," Seitan said, adding, "for me, because of my love for animals, it makes me feel so good and so complete and so happy at the end of the mission knowing that I helped an animal to get to a better life."

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