Southwest Flies Shelter Pets Affected By Hurricane Harvey To New Home

Orphaned pets flown by Southwest Airlines to San Diego

This week, dozens of Texas area shelter pets boarded a Southwest Airlines flight which was bound for San Diego, California. The transport, designed to help free up shelter space in Texas for pets whose owners have lost their homes, was made possible by animal-lovers who teamed up to get the homeless pets to the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

On Wednesday, the Center expressed gratitude for those involved in the transport effort which helped 64 dogs and cats relocate to the California shelter facility:

It took a “village” of animal-lovers to bring these orphan pets (in shelters with no forever families before the storm hit) to San Diego, to make room for those displaced pets affected by #HurricaneHarvey. We’re so grateful for “our village.” Thank you, Southwest Airlines, and your platoon of employee do-gooders, for helping make it happen. 🐱❤️🐶

Southwest Airlines, which donated the flight, stated:

We’re humbled and inspired by the teamwork shown by our partners and Employees to coordinate and fly 64 animals from Houston shelters that needed to be moved to make room for families’ displaced pets. Special thanks to the hardworking team at Helen Woodward Animal Center, the Airport Authority teams in Austin and San Diego, the TSA, and of course, our amazing AUS and SAN Employees.

Operation Pets Alive (OPA), which also participated in the relocation effort, commended the airline for their generous donation:

Thank you Southwest Airlines for donating this flight and service for homeless cats and dogs in the Operation Pets Alive program!🐾

Animal shelters from across the nation have stepped up to take in homeless pets from shelters which were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. You have the ability to help by offering to foster a pet for your local shelter  – every animal moved out of a shelter facility frees up space for another pet in need.

(Image via Southwest Airlines)

More photos here.

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.

1 comment

  1. Greta stifel says:

    Southwest Airlines is one of the best Airlines in this country a most compassionate and kind organization of people hats off to the CEO and to management for helping these unfortunate victims of these natural disasters they only have humans to rely on without them they die

    Thank you…

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