‘The largest pet rescue flight in history’ takes off next week from Hawaii

More than 600 would-be pets from animal shelters across the state — including the Hawaii Island Humane Society — will be flown to the mainland next week.

“Paws Across the Pacific” is being touted as “the largest pet rescue flight in history.” It’s a team effort between the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, Greater Good Charities and Wings of Rescue.

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The animals are being moved from overcrowded pet shelters across the state and then flown to shelters in Washington state, Oregon, Idaho and Montana “where they’ll be quickly adopted into loving forever homes.”

“Pet shelters in Hawaii are in a COVID-19 crisis,” said Liz Baker, CEO of Greater Good Charities. “Normal operations have been affected by months of shut down, economic downturn, limited hours, and routine flights to mainland halted. The Paws Across the Pacific flight is urgently needed to make space in Hawaii’s shelters for at-risk pets who otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive necessary care to survive.”

On Wednesday, Paws Across the Pacific will board more than 600 shelter dogs and cats on a chartered Hercules C-130 plane that will make stops on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island.

Hawaii shelter partners include Kauai Humane Society, Hawaiian Humane Society, Lanai Cat Sanctuary, Hawaii Island Humane Society, Maui Humane Society, Aloha ‘Ilio Rescue and Kauai SPCA.

The Hercules C-130 is scheduled to arrive at Seattle’s Boeing Field in the late morning on Thursday, where pet shelters and rescue groups will pick them up, while 120 of the shelter pets continue their journey to Walla Walla and Coeur d’Alene.

Mainland shelter partners include: PAWS, The NOAH Center, Seattle Humane, the Humane Society of Skagit Valley, Kitsap Humane, Oregon Humane, Southwest Washington Humane, Kootenai Humane Society, Seattle Area Feline Rescue (SAFR), Tracs, Spokanimal, Blue Mountain Humane Society, and Embrace a Discarded Pet Society.

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The Paws Across the Pacific airlift is being conducted in coordination with the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association to ensure the safety and health of pets on the flight. In addition to flying pets to their new families, Greater Good Charities and The Animal Rescue Site are providing enrichment and critical medical supplies to assist the shelters and the sheltered pets of Hawaii.

Paws Across the Pacific is made possible with support from the John R. Peterson Foundation, The Animal Rescue Site, Banfield Foundation, VCA Pet Charities, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the Petco Foundation, Royal Canin and Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation.

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