Southwest has a robust plan at work to support those affected by wildfires in Maui, offering financial assistance and in-kind donations of tickets, and transporting essential workers and crucial items to the island. On Friday, August 18, Southwest partnered with Greater Good Charities, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, and the Maui Humane Society to conduct an emergency airlift to transport shelter cats and dogs from Kahului, Maui, to Portland, Ore. Southwest Airlines Employees and Crew members helped transport 136 shelter cats and dogs in secure carriers and crates in the aircraft cabin of a Boeing 737-800.
"Our Hearts are with the people of Hawaii and the communities that are affected by the wildfires, and we have many efforts underway across the company to offer our assistance and support," said Laura Nieto, Managing Director Corporate Responsibility at Southwest Airlines. "In addition to supporting local and national relief organizations to bring aid to Maui, Southwest and our Employees have put their Hearts into action to join this effort to transport shelter cats and dogs in-cabin to the mainland in hopes of finding forever homes."
These shelter cats and dogs already were in shelters in Maui, and this transportation makes room for an expected influx of injured and displaced pets that will continue to arrive at Maui Humane Society because of the wildfires. Once in Portland, these shelter cats and dogs will continue their journey toward forever homes.
The aircraft used for this transportation departed Oakland loaded with emergency pet supplies and hundreds of humanitarian "Good Packs" filled with survival and comfort supplies such as t-shirts, blankets, flashlights, socks, and hygiene kits.
Greater Good Charities worked with veterinarians on the ground in Maui to ensure the safety and health of the shelter pets boarding the flight. A licensed veterinarian accompanied the flight of shelter pets to Portland and all the cats and dogs will be evaluated and receive any follow-up medical care needed before being put up for adoption.
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