Dozens of pets, displaced by Hurricane Irma, have been relocated out of the impacted areas of Florida thanks to a joint effort between FedEx, Direct Relief, Heart to Heart International, the Miami HEAT and the Golden State Warriors. On September 15, FedEx issued a release about the team’s relocation effort.
FedEx, which dedicated a special flight to make the emergency response possible, explained:
More than $11 million worth of critical aid is in the hands of relief workers in Florida and more than 150 dogs and cats are in a no-kill shelter in San Francisco thanks to FedEx, Direct Relief, Heart to Heart International, the Miami HEAT and the Golden State Warriors.
In Miami, Florida, 150 cats and dogs were loaded onto a FedEx Express MD-10 which had just transported medicine and medical supplies for Direct Relief’s humanitarian efforts for people and communities which were impacted by the hurricane.
“On behalf of our 400,000 FedEx team members, we take great pride in using our global network to deliver hope and help in times of crisis,” said David J. Bronczek, president and chief operating officer of FedEx Corp. “We are inspired by the passion of these organizations and their drive to make a difference in the world. All of us at FedEx remain committed to working closely with humanitarian and disaster relief organizations to provide support and deliver supplies to assist those hardest hit by these storms.”
Overcrowding at shelters serving Hurricane Irma impacted areas created a pet emergency. FedEx stated, “Members of the Miami HEAT heard about the overcrowding crisis at local shelters and collaborated with the Golden State Warriors to come up with a plan. The NBA teams reached out to FedEx to assist.”
“As residents of South Florida, we have experienced our fair share of hurricanes through the years and we are keenly aware of the challenges before, during and after a storm,” said Eric Woolworth, president of The HEAT Group’s Business Operations. “Displaced or abandoned pets are helpless and heart-breaking casualties of a hurricane’s aftermath. This cross-country airlift wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our friends at FedEx and the Golden State Warriors. I speak for everyone at the HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena when I say our hope is two-fold: to reunite lost pets with their owners and to encourage South Floridians to consider adopting a furry friend who is in desperate need of a new home.”
“It’s been eye-opening to learn about all the animals affected by natural disasters like Hurricane Irma, so when I heard about this event, I knew I wanted to be involved,” said Warriors center Zaza Pachulia. “I’m proud to represent my teammates and the Warriors organization as a part of this great collaboration, and I’m looking forward to hearing about all these dogs and cats finding loving homes in the Bay Area.”
Relocated pets are also receiving assistance from the ASPCA, which provided ground transportation for approximately a hundred animals upon their arrival at the Oakland International Airport to the Marin Humane Society and the Humane Society for Southwest Washington.
“The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position where we can assist animal shelters in Florida by helping move homeless cats and dogs out of impacted communities to free up much-needed space for owned pets displaced by the storm,” said Dick Green, senior director of Disaster Response for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The animals transported to the West Coast today will have a second chance to find safe and loving homes thanks to destination shelters opening their doors for Florida cats and dogs in need.”
This special relief flight is part of the company’s FedEx Cares initiative, through which FedEx will invest $200 million in more than 200 global communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver positive change around the world.
(Read more about the relief effort at this link to FedEx)