Dozens of crates filled with furry creatures, peeking through the wires with bright scared eyes, landed at Oakland Airport on Sunday night. The 54 dogs and 15 cats, who the SF SPCA affectionately called “Stormtroopers,” flew in on a private jet from Austin Pets Alive Shelter in Houston after the recent hurricane left communities devastated.
The animals were rescued by four Bay Area organizations: Muttville, Mad Dog Rescue, Milo Foundation, and the SF SPCA, all of which had representatives fly out to collect them. Charlie’s Acres, a Sonoma County sanctuary for abused farm animals, donated the small jet. On its way to Houston, the cargo hold was filled with vaccines, crates, and pet supplies. On the way back, it was filled to the brim with shelter animals.
“It was a real emotional scene,” Muttville Founder Sherri Franklin told KTVU. “A lot of the hardcore volunteers were crying when we left. They were so happy and excited we could take so many animals.”
All the cats and dogs who arrived in the Bay Area last weekend had been available for adoption before the hurricane began. With so many people displaced from their homes, some of whom were forced to leave their pets behind, shelters have received an influx of thousands of animals. By clearing out the shelter pets who need homes, those who have the chance of being reunited with their families have a safe space to stay.
One can safely bet that once adopted, a few of them will be renamed “Harvey.”