In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, many animals have been left homeless. Some got lost as the flood waters rose, others were strays, and still others are in need of shelter while their families are displaced from their homes.

The shelters in the area have become overcrowded and are trying to make room as even more animals are brought in. They didn’t want to have to euthanize the animals, but they weren’t sure what they were going to do.

Thankfully, Southwest Airlines has come to the rescue. On Wednesday, a cabin full of 64 cats and dogs flew from Texas to shelters in San Diego, California. This will free up more space for animals who have families but can’t be with them right now.

Southwest worked with Texas animal rescue group Operation Pets Alive! and San Diego shelter Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) to perform this great feat. Four medical personnel from HWAC flew to Texas to help get all of the animals loaded up and then flew back to make sure everything went smoothly.

“These are the silent victims,” said Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center. “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,” he added. “We are honored to help save those lives and we are lucky to have incredible friends like Southwest to help make this all possible.”


People curated a great list of organizations that are helping animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. If you are looking for a way to help, check out their list below:

  • GoFundMe page has been set up by 4 Paws Farm and the I Love My Dog Team to raise donations for veterinary care, food, and bedding for animals impacte by Hurricane Harvey. To date, the fundraiser has surpassed its original goal, raising almost $50K in just a few days. Click here for more information and to donate.
  • Best Friends Animal Society, the first animal rescue on the ground during Hurricane Katrina, has deployed its disaster response team to Texas to help rescue stranded animals, deliver supplies and transport displaced pets. You can donate to the disaster relief fund here. 
  • The SPCA of Texas is working to evacuate pets out of the affected ares and is helping to provide resources on pet-friendly housing to those evacuating the Houston area. The SPCA of Texas is accepting donations here. 
  • Austin Pets Alive! Is moving as many displaced animals as possible into its shelter and is working on adopting out the animals currently residing there, so it has more room for Harvey evacuees. The rescue is looking for financial donations and potential adopters, learn more here.
  • American Humane is working to rescue animals from the flood waters, as well, and is also providing hundreds of pounds of pet food to pet owners and their animals currently displaced by Harvey. To support these efforts, click here.
  • The Humane Society of the United States has several on-the-ground response teams rescuing animals and helping people with pets get to safety. It recently took the lead in organizing a flight of shelter dogs from Texas to New Jersey. Readers can donate towards the rescue effort by clicking here.

Are you happy to see Southwest stepping in to help these stranded animals? So share this!

Send this to a friend