Southwest teamed up with Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) in San Diego on their relief efforts to support Houston local organization, Operation Pets Alive! (OPA). Four medical personnel from HWAC flew to Texas early Thursday to help the organization and provide medical care for shelter animals. Tuesday, in coordination with HWAC, Southwest flew more than 60 animals that were in Houston shelters when Hurricane Harvey hit to San Diego, to relieve strain on the local facilities and allow OPA to make room for family pets whose humans are currently displaced from their homes.
"The devastation of Hurricane Harvey has impacted a number of our communities along the Gulf. Our hearts are with our Customers, Employees, family and friends who have experienced loss and devastation from the storm," said Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines Chief Communications Officer. "We’re so happy to partner with the Helen Woodward Animal Center to extend hope to Houston by transporting shelter animals to a new home in San Diego, while making additional space for family pets whose humans are currently displaced. Our Employees care so deeply for our Customers and all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, including our sweet little four-legged friends."
"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. We are honored to help save those lives and we are lucky to have incredible friends like Southwest to help make this all possible."
These shelter animals were transported to San Diego where they will be under the care of Helen Woodward Animal Center and eventually available for adoption.