Historic Animal Airlift Rescue From Hawaii

Photo: Oregon Humane Society

The Oregon Humane Society, along with 12 other regional shelters and rescue groups, have partnered with Greater Good Charities and Wings of Rescue for “Paws Across the Pacific.” The transport of close to 600 shelter dogs and cats from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland is the largest pet rescue flight in history.

Nine dogs from the Paws Across the Pacific transport are now resting comfortably at the Oregon Humane Society while they wait to be adopted into new, loving homes.

October has been a very busy month for OHS’s Second Chance program. Last week, the shelter welcomed 55 dogs from Oklahoma. This is in addition to the more than 500 pets from Oregon shelter partners, from Pendleton to Klamath Falls, that have been transported to OHS this month.

“We are so grateful to Greater Good Charities and Wings of Rescue for their leadership on Paws Across the Pacific,” says Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. “We know this has been a challenging year for shelters in Hawaii and we are glad to help these pets find loving, forever homes.”

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

“Pet shelters in Hawaii are in a COVID-19 crisis. Normal operations have been affected by months of shut down, economic downturn, limited hours, and routine flights to mainland halted,” said Liz Baker, CEO of Greater Good Charities. “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.”

Yesterday, Paws Across the Pacific boarded more than 600 shelter dogs and cats on a chartered Hercules C-130 plane that made stops on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii islands. Hawaii shelter partners include Kauai Humane Society, Hawaiian Humane Society, Lanai Cat Sanctuary, Hawaii Island Humane Society, Maui Humane Society and Aloha `Ilio Rescue.

The Hercules C-130 with the over 2,400 furry paws arrived at Seattle’s Boeing Field Thursday morning, where pet shelters and rescue groups were ready to pick them up. Mainland shelter partners include: PAWS, The NOAH Center, Seattle Humane, Humane Society of Skagit Valley, Kitsap Humane, Oregon Humane Society, Humane Society for Southwest Washington, Kootenai Humane Society, Seattle Area Feline Rescue, TRACS, SpokAnimal, Blue Mountain Humane Society, and Embrace a Discarded Animal Society.

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 Charities, Royal Canin, PEDIGREE Foundation, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Petco Foundation, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation, Air Charter Service, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, MuttNation Foundation, Kamaka Air Cargo, and Jackson Galaxy.

Source: Oregon Humane Society