The Coast Guard has ended the search for the missing pilot and Cirrus aircraft in the Gulf of Mexico, Monday.

The Coast Guard searched 17,458 nautical square miles for approximately 79 hours.

Missing is Bill Kinsinger, 55, of Oklahoma City. He was a volunteer for the organization Pilots N Paws, which helps rescue animals nationwide.

“Ending a search is a difficult decision that we put the upmost thought and consideration into,” said Capt. David Cooper, chief of incident management, Eighth Coast Guard District. “Dr. Kinsinger was a well-loved man and our hearts go out to everyone impacted during this tragic time.”

Related: Pilot at center of Gulf of Mexico search was headed to Texas to pick up dog: Rescue group

Officials say the plane took off from Oklahoma City and was headed to Georgetown Municipal Airport, north of Austin, but diverted at some point and headed south.

Kinsinger was headed to Texas to pick up an 11-year-old husky dog, who has been surrendered in Edinburg, Texas, to the Palm Valley Animal Center. He planned to take the dog back to Oklahoma City, where the dog would then be transferred to Las Vegas for rehabilitation.

Related: Animal rescue pilot missing after going unconscious over Gulf of Mexico

Instead of landing in Georgetown, according to the FAA, the plane continued on the same course and didn't answer air traffic control instructions.

The Coast Guard had said the plane was last seen about 118 nautical miles north of the Yucatan Peninsula.