With insurance claims, relief efforts and attempts to salvage property going on in the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey, it can be easy to forget that more than just humans had to face the storm. But these shelter animals weren’t an afterthought, and got a plane ride out of Texas with the cabin to themselves.
Southwest and two organizations, the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego and Operation Pets Alive in Houston, flew 64 animals from Houston-area shelters and into sunny California. Staff from the no-kill San Diego center flew to Texas last week to give medical care to shelter animals, and the center will care for its 64 new cats and dogs before eventually putting them up for adoption.
It may seem odd that Southwest and the organizations helped these animals flee Houston after the storm hit the area, but it makes a lot of sense—the first thing on Houston folks’ minds right now likely isn’t expanding their pet families, and freeing up shelter space will allow area shelters to take in more displaced pets impacted by the storm.
The San Diego center’s president called animals the “silent victims” of the storm and said shelters in the area have been “devastated” without electricity and supplies. But this group that made it out, well, they look really thankful: