Hundreds of shelter dogs and cats will now have a second chance at finding forever families after a life-saving mission airlifted them from South Florida to New Jersey and New Hampshire.
Nearly 270 at-risk pets were loaded onto a "Good Flights" plane early Tuesday morning at a Fort Lauderdale airport as part of NBCUniversal Local and Telemundo's annual pet adoption and donation campaign, Clear the Shelters, that began on Tuesday.
The life-saving airlift rescued 193 cats and 76 dogs from overcrowded shelters in an effort to help increase their chances of being adopted.
"These shelters, especially the warmer places in the south, are just flooded with kittens," said Greater Good Charities spokesperson Erin Robbins. "We make room that's desperately needed right now so that they can continue to care for the pets that are literally waiting at their door."
The rescued animals aboard the flight included harder-to-place pets, dogs with asymptomatic heartworms, and homeless cats from overcrowded shelters in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana.
Captain Hook, a 17-week-old kitten that was rescued along with several other cats after being trapped in Miami Beach, was among the hundreds of pets on the flight.
"Thanks to this life-saving flight this one-eyed wonder will get to live his best life in a new home," said Greater Good Charities, a nonprofit that also helps people and the planet during times of hardship and disaster.
Mercy, a 2-year-old boxer mix who was surrendered by an unhoused family after their home was destroyed by Hurricane Ida in 2021, was also on the flight.
The at-risk pets will receive any needed medical care and be placed up for adoption across shelters in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.
The life-saving "Good Flights" is the third airlift mission in the media company's ninth annual Clear the Shelters campaign. The first mission transported 155 rescue pets from Florida to Massachusetts, and the second mission rescued more than 150 dogs and cats from Louisana and Alabama.
The airlift was funded by Greater Good Charities' "Good Flights" program, Hill's Pet Nutrition and The Animal Rescue Site.
Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has helped more than 860,000 pets find new homes. Last year's campaign set a new record with more than 161,000 adoptions while raising more than $540,000.