Nearly 140 at-risk dogs and cats will soon find forever homes after being airlifted from overcrowded shelters in Louisiana and Alabama early Tuesday morning.
More than 100 dogs and 25 cats will be taken to nine animal shelters in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia that will help pair the animals with new families.
The rescued animals aboard the plane include dogs who tested positive for heartworms, hard-to-place large dogs and homeless cats.
"Right now in Louisiana, we're at critical capacity in the animal shelters," said Rebecca Lirette, Iberville Parish Animal Shelter's assistant director. "These Good Flight programs truly save lives."
Lirette says that adoptions in the state are low and transporting animals from overcrowded shelters is crucial for their survival.
Clear The Shelters
The First Lady of New Jersey, Tammy Murphy, helped to welcome the animals at the airport when they arrived in her state. Murphy was seen petting and playing with several of the animals, including Dobby, a hairless and scabby puppy who was dumped on the streets on Louisiana and left to fend for herself.
"It makes me want to cry," Murphy said. "I'm really thrilled for these 140 [dogs and cats] who have been so carefully attended to and I think whoever adopts them obviously is going to take great care of them."
The life-saving pet airlift is the second “Good Flights” mission in NBCUniversal Local’s eighth annual Clear The Shelters pet adoption and donation campaign. The first airlift mission transported 155 cats from South Florida to Massachusetts on August 2, which also helped kickoff the nationwide campaign.
Last year’s inaugural pet airlift flew more than 150 cats and dogs from Louisiana to New Jersey and Massachusetts, where they were adopted into new homes.
Greater Good Charities' Good Flights program is funded by Hill's Pet Nutrition and The Animal Rescue Site. Hill's Pet Nutrition will also donate more than 6,000 pounds of pet food to participating shelters that helped send and receive the at-risk animals.
Since Clear The Shelters began in 2015, more than 700,000 pets found forever families in new homes across the United States.
To learn more about Clear The Shelters 2022 and search for adoptable pets in your area, visit cleartheshelters.com. You can also donate to your local animal shelters and rescue groups by visiting clearthesheltersfund.org.