Most people saw the tragic images of families trying to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, but it is important not to forget about some of the most vulnerable members of the community—the pets and animals who have been displaced by the storm as well. Luckily some animal saviors have stepped up to help and care for these furry storm survivors. One organization, Operation Pets Alive, based in Houston, has partnered with the Helen Woodward Animal Shelter in San Diego California to collect and care for many homeless and family-less pets. The California shelter is committed to finding them new and loving homes!
But how were they going to get dozens and dozens of animals from Texas to California? That’s where Southwest Airlines comes in. The company has partnered with the San Diego rescue group to help animals in need get to the shelter so they can be adopted to new homes.
Over 60 cats and dogs were taken from Houston and flown to San Diego in order to free up space for even more animals that were still pouring in from rescue missions across the ravaged city of Houston.
Southwest had been on the verge of retiring its Boeing 737-300 Classics planes while in the process of upgrading its fleet, but the airline postponed their plan in order to carry out one very important rescue mission, and the animals got to ride on the final flight of one of the jets before it was grounded for good.
Although the furry hurricane refugees must have been a handful to deal with, the flight crew was all smiles.
Volunteers greeted the plane on arrival in San Diego and helped transport them to the shelter. The animals were greeted with excitement and love!
Watch the video to get your daily dose of faith in humanity and animal cuteness all at once!
They're looking for a new home so far from home. The Helen Woodward Animal Center teamed with SeaWorld, Southwest Airlines, Operation Pets Alive, and Best Friends Total Pet Care to transfer 27 dogs and 37 cats from Houston, Texas to San Diego to make room for the dogs and cats that were lost or left homeless after Hurricane Harvey. These animals were already in shelters or foster care BEFORE the hurricane hit Texas. Their transfer will give families a chance to find the pets they lost when Harvey forced them to evacuate. I was very proud to file this story with photojournalist Adam Hillberry for 10News. Now… go adopt a pet.
Posted by Joe Little 10News on Tuesday, September 5, 2017
The jet that flew the displaced animals was finally retired to join its fellow 737-300s at Victorville’s Southern California Logistics Airport. And while the jet found its home, so have most of the animals—many have already been adopted or placed into foster homes!