Southwest Airlines Fills Cabin With 64 Orphaned Pets From Harvey, Relocates Them To San Diego

The airline transported 64 pets orphaned by Hurricane Harvey to San Diego, California, where they will hopefully be adopted or retrieved by their owners.

Credit: Southwest Airlines via Bored Panda

As a result of the destruction Hurricane Harvey left, animal shelters all over Texas are filled to the brim with homeless cats and dogs. The situation appeared grim — until Southwest Airlines stepped up to help.

The Boston Herald reports that the airline partnered with two animal rescue groups to help dozens of pets escape the floods. In total, 64 rescue animals who were stranded at Houston shelters were transported to San Diego, California. There, they will hopefully be adopted by prospective pet owners.

The animals were taken to the Helen Woodward Animal Center, according to a Southwest press release. The organization Operation Pets Alive!, which is based in Houston, played a big role in helping to “relieve strain on the local facilities and allow OPA to make room for family pets whose humans are currently displaced from their homes.” Four medical personnel from HWAC flew to Texas to help the organization and to provide medical care for the homeless animals.

Said Mike Arms, president of HWAC,

”These are the silent victims. There are shelters that have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey, without electricity, without supplies. Operation Pets Alive! has taken in an overwhelming number of orphan dogs and cats who had inhabited those shelters before the storm and were suddenly facing euthanasia simply because they had no place to go. We are honored to help save those lives and we are lucky to have incredible friends like Southwest to help make this all possible.”

Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines’ chief communications officer, added: “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. 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. Our employees care so deeply for our customers and all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, including our sweet little four-legged friends.”

Related: Here Are 5 Amazing Ways People Are Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims

Many of the four-legged critters have already found forever homes. There is still a huge demand for help, however. If you’d like to get involved and assist animals affected by the current storms in Texas and Florida, consider adopting or temporarily fostering a pet. Doing so frees up space in local shelters for other animals lefty newly homeless or separated from their owners. Contact your local shelter for details.

h/t Bored Panda

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