EVERETT — Guinea pigs, cats and dogs, oh my!
An emergency airlift of 34 dogs, 118 cats and 29 guinea pigs made its way to the Pacific Northwest in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the Category 4 storm that wreaked havoc in Florida two weeks ago.
The motley crew had either been housed in a shelter prior to the storm or separated from their families due to the storm. After the storm, the influx of displaced animals overwhelmed Floridian shelters.
Good Flights, a Greater Good Charities program, conducted airlifts and ground transport for at-risk pets, in a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States. Good Flights has transported more than 6,600 shelter pets since 2021.
On Sunday, pets from Florida shelters in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Palm City and Port Charlotte were flown to Oregon, Idaho and Paine Field. The animals that arrived in Washington were transported to shelters in Bellevue, Blaine, Friday Harbor, Redmond, Shoreline and Stanwood.
The pets will be evaluated and treated for any follow-up medical care at their new shelters before being put up for adoption.
Not only do the pets have a shot at finding new homes, but relocating these animals creates more space in Florida shelters for the continued influx of displaced animals. That increases the likelihood of families who lost their pets in the storm being reunited.
Greater Good, a Seattle-based nonprofit, has provided more than $475 million to organizations like the Humane Society since 2007.
The animals that arrived at Paine Field are available for adoption at The NOAH Center, Seattle Area Feline Rescue, Embrace a Discarded Animal Society, Seattle Humane, Animal Protection Society and Motley Zoo.