Over 140 shelter pets have been flown out of Florida to help support animal welfare organizations in the area hit by the Category 3 hurricane
Petco Love, BOBS from Sketchers, and Wings of Rescue—a donation-supported charities that provide transportation to abandoned, homeless, and otherwise at risk pets from overcrowded shelters and disaster areas to other rescue facilities and animal welfare organizations—have partnered together to help transport 140+ shelter animals out of Florida. The pets are being transferred in order to make room for pets that have been injured or missing from their homes due to Hurricane Idalia.
"This animal airlift operation is a testament to the remarkable power of collaboration. Working hand in hand, multiple local and national nonprofits came together to facilitate safe and efficient transport of animals to shelters in the north to create capacity at local Florida organizations to serve the community in their time of need," said Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love, in an organizational release.1
According to the release, the evacuation was led by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and the Pet Resource Center at Hillsborough County Animal Shelter with the first flight leaving the area early Thursday morning.1 The next flight will leave today from northern Florida and will be led by Jacksonville Humane Society with cats and dogs from both Jacksonville Humane Society and Columbia country being flown to Brandywine Valley SPCA. The Brandywine Valley SPCA will be waiting for the plane to touch down to facilitate the adoption of the pets to families in the area.
"Through purchases of our BOBS from Skechers offering, we have donated $10 million—much of which has supported animals in crisis. There's no greater example of this than the devastating threat of natural disasters like Hurricane Idalia, and the rapid response of Wings of Rescue and Petco Love is a testament to our great impact when we all band together for good," expressed Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers.1 "As incidents like this increase in severity, we are committed to being there for local shelters across the country and the animals they care for every day."
For pet parents who lost their pets or anyone who found a lost pet during Hurricane Idalia, they can visit Petco Love Lost to search and upload photos of pets found or lost. The database is populated by over 2,500 shelter locations and uses image-recognition software to help identify and reunited families with their pets.
"When disaster strikes, our mission is to save at-risk dogs and cats by delivering them to safe havens," said Ric Browde, CEO and President of Wings of Rescue. "And thanks to our partnership with Petco Love and BOBS from Skechers we are able to Let The Fur Fly and save pets in need."
"Love Is In The Air". News release. Petco Love. September 1, 2023. Accessed September 1, 2023. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/love-is-in-the-air-301915506.html