64 Hurricane Harvey Animals Flown from Texas to California

Southwest Airlines showed these cats and dogs what the friendly skies are all about.
By: Aly Semigran
Hurricane Harvey dog and pilot

People from all walks of life have been doing their part to help the displaced animals from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

From movie stars to storm chasers to, most recently, airline pilots and attendants, everyone is doing what they can to save the dogs and cats affected by the storm.

On Sept. 6, Southwest Airlines teamed up with the Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) to transport 64 cats and dogs from ravaged Houston, Texas, to the safe haven of the San Diego rescue facility. Their relief efforts helped the Texas-based Operation Pets Alive! get more animals to safety.

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With their noble mission set to take flight, a Southwest Airlines crew, along with HWAC staff, helped safely board the cats and dogs for their journey from the Austin airport to the California coast.

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

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Mike Arms, president of HWAC, said helping these animals (which he described as “the silent victims”) is of the utmost importance right now.

“There are shelters that have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey, without electricity, without supplies,” he said in a statement.

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“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,” Arms continued. “We are honored to help save those lives, and we are lucky to have incredible friends like Southwest to help make this all possible.”

The airline posted photos on its Twitter page, from the boarding process with the staff and volunteers to the happy and healthy pets arriving at their final destination and, eventually, their loving new forever homes.

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Now this is what the friendly skies are all about.

Images via Southwest Airlines Twitter