Post-hurricane, shelter animals were left with nowhere to go
Amidst the devastation post-Harvey, here’s some good news: dozens of displaced shelter animals have been rescued thanks to Southwest Airlines. The best part? The animals had their own cozy cabin seats.
The animals were packed up in crates and flown to San Diego, headed for various animal rescue groups and shelters. The Helen Woodward Animal Center in Santa Fe worked with Southwest to help organize the move and opened up their facility to help the displaced shelter dogs and cats of Houston.
BRB, dying of cute overload:
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) September 6, 2017
Needless to say, this was one furry rescue flight, with plenty of love to go around! pic.twitter.com/mtBuDBGDw1— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) September 6, 2017
“The devastation of Hurricane Harvey has impacted a number of our communities along the Gulf. Our hearts are with our Customers, Employees, family and friends who have experienced loss and devastation from the storm,” said Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines Chief Communications Officer in a recent press release.
“We’re so happy to partner with the Helen Woodward Animal Center to extend hope to Houston by transporting shelter animals to a new home in San Diego, while making additional space for family pets whose humans are currently displaced,” Rutherford said. “Our Employees care so deeply for our Customers and all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, including our sweet little four-legged friends.”
The Helen Woodward Animal Center worked with Texas-based Operation Pets Alive — a no-kill animal center — to ensure the safe passage of the animals on board their Southwest flight. In a video posted to their Facebook page, Southwest described exactly what it takes to pull of a pet rescue of this magnitude:
“To pull off a flight like this, it really is a team effort,” says Southwest rep Michelle Agnew. “We worked closely with our employees at the Austin airport and the San Diego airport, the TSA came out and did a special screening for us, and they escorted us out to our aircraft where we had our employees there loading the crates on.”
It’s amazing to see airlines stepping up to help living creatures — of the two-legged variety, and the four. These are the kinds of stories we need to restore our faith in humanity and lift our spirits after seeing the destruction Harvey left in its wake and knowing Hurricane Irma is on a war path to Florida after blowing through the Caribbean.
Shelter stays for animals are (ideally) supposed to be a temporary thing. With any luck, these dogs and cats will be on their way to their forever homes in no time.