60 Cats and Dogs Saved in Coast to Coast Transport

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A kitty upon arrival in San Diego.


The Helen Woodward Animal Center of Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, California took in 60 cats and dogs from shelters in the US northeast yesterday in a coast to coast transport that saved the animals’ lives.

The lives of the adoptable cats and dogs were threatened as their places in the shelters were about to be turned over to provide temporary housing for pets whose families were displaced by Hurricane Sandy. The Animal Center was assisted with transport by Southwest Airlines, which provided a charter flight at no charge, BP, which provided fuel, and SeaWorld, which  provided staff members to accompany the animals on the flight.

“These are the silent victims,” said Helen Woodward Animal Center President Mike Arms. “There are shelters that have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy, without electricity, without supplies. Despite this, the goodhearted rescue facilitators have taken in an overwhelming number of pets displaced by the hurricane and waiting to be returned to their owners. Unfortunately, their own orphaned dogs and cats who inhabited the shelters before the storm are facing euthanasia because their simply isn’t room. We received a call from these shelters asking for our help and we were so lucky to have incredible friends like Southwest and SeaWorld to help us.”

Shelters in New Jersey and New York are dealing not only with the influx of Hurricane Sandy pets, but with diminished adoptions following the storm.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center is accepting donations to help provide care for the 60 newcomers, and is looking for foster caregivers to take them into their homes.

The Center says, “When we heard about the plight of animal organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy we knew we had to offer our assistance. We reached out to our friends in Pennsylvania and New York and they graciously agreed to help.  The Delco SPCA in Pennsylvania tracked down cats in need from the New Jersey area and Save-A-Pet in Long Island located dogs impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  These are pets that were at high risk for euthanasia due to overcrowding at local animal organizations that are forced to make room for pets that were displaced by the Hurricane.  We join with these dedicated partners to save these precious lives.”


“Each and every pet needs to be medically checked, paperwork needs to be verified and a lot of TLC needs to be given. Our staff and volunteers have been preparing for their arrival for days.”


San Diego, California News Station – KFMB Channel 8 – cbs8.com


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