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40 Shelter Dogs, Cats to Move to Mainland Shelters

October 21, 2020, 8:12 AM HST
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Hawai‘i Island Humane Society (HIHS) and Aloha `Ilio Rescue are partnering with Greater Good Charities and Wings of Rescue to fly 40 shelter dogs and cats from Hawaii Island to the US mainland joining the Paws Across the Pacific initiative.

Greater Good Charities and Wings of Rescue are flying 600 shelter dogs and cats from across the state to the US mainland, making Paws Across the Pacific the largest pet rescue flight in history. These healthy pets are being moved from Hawai‘i Island to shelters in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

“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.”

The flight will leave on Oct. 28. More than 600 shelter dogs and cats willb be chartered on a Hercules C-130 plane that will make stops on Kaua‘i, Oahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i Island. Hawaii shelter partners include Kaua‘i Humane Society, Hawaiian Humane Society, Lanai Cat Sanctuary, Hawai‘i Island Humane Society, Maui Humane Society, Aloha `Ilio Rescue, and Kauai SPCA.

HIHS Programs Director Lauren Nickerson said their teams are working together to select those animals who would ultimately make incredible pets for people when given the opportunity.

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“We considered not only those who would be best served by this transport but also those animals best suited for air travel,” Nickerson explained.

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The adoptable animals will remain in HIHS collective care and be available for adoption locally up until the time it’s ready for them to leave.

“Lauren and I worked together to select canine candidates from the Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary. We are thankful to the Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary volunteers for helping us to select some truly terrific dogs for their journey to their forever homes,” said Aloha `Ilio Rescue President and Founder Daylynn Kyles.

The flight is scheduled to arrive at Seattle’s Boeing Field in the late morning on Oct. 29, 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, 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 Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i.

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