A dog peers out from a kennel after the landing of a “Paws Across the Pacific” pet rescue flight Thursday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A dog peers out from a kennel after the landing of a “Paws Across the Pacific” pet rescue flight Thursday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Hundreds of shelter dogs, cats flown across the Pacific

The coronavirus pandemic has led to overcrowding in Hawaii pet shelters.

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher / Associated Press

HONOLULU — More than 600 dogs and cats flew across the Pacific Ocean from crowded Hawaii shelters to Washington state, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, where there’s more space for them to await adoption — a charity operation that organizers said is the largest pet rescue flight.

The furry friends arrived in Seattle Thursday on a chartered Hercules C-130 plane. The rescue flight was necessary because the coronavirus pandemic has led to overcrowding in Hawaii pet shelters.

“Lots of kittens,” said Douglas Carroll, spokesman for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, which helped coordinate the effort.

He noted that some owners are no longer able to afford their pets because of economic struggles caused by the pandemic. The situation has contributed to crowded Hawaii shelters.

Carroll watched Wednesday night as masked workers loaded carriers of various sizes holding the animals into the plane in Honolulu.

The flight started on Kauai and made stops at three different islands before departing for a seven-hour flight to Seattle, said Noah Horton, chief marketing officer of Greater Good Charities.

A veterinarian accompanied the animals.

Angie Wehmeyer was among the volunteers who greeted the flight in Seattle.

“You know, it brings tears to my eyes when I get to see all of the animals getting off the plane and being able to feed them and there is animals from babies to adults,” she said.

Beyond the logistical challenge of planning the operation, the flight was special to Greater Good Charities CEO Liz Baker because she is adopting one of the transferred puppies. Her 10-year-old pit bull Stella died unexpectedly this week, she said.

Associated Press journalist Manuel Valdes contributed to this report from Seattle.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

FILE - In this May 15, 2019 file photo, the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River is seen from the air near Colfax, Wash. Environmental groups are vowing to continue their fight to remove four dams on the Snake River in Washington state they say are killing salmon that are a key food source for endangered killer whales. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Study looks at impact of ocean and dams on salmon runs

Fish recovery efforts should focus on the ocean, not on freshwater, says the BPA-funded scientist.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman talks to reporters in her office, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Wyman was talking about a series of election- and ballot-security bills her office is asking the Washington Legislature to consider during the current session. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Washington secretary of state certifies election results

Joe Biden will receive the state’s 12 electoral votes at the Electoral College on Dec. 14.

This series of screenshots taken from an iPhone with COVID-19 exposure notifications turned on for Washington state shows some of the information presented to iPhone users who are considering opting in to a new statewide coronavirus exposure notification program that was launched Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, in Washington state that uses smartphone technology in the ongoing effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People with Apple iPhones can now enable the 'exposure notifications' feature that is already in their phone's settings, and Android devices can download the app, called Washington Exposure Notifications. Use of the service is voluntary and users can opt out at any time. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Washington launches statewide COVID-19 notification app

Modeling predicted significant decreases in infections and deaths if at least 15% of people use the app.

Visitors view photos of people who were killed by police in Washington State and elsewhere, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, inside what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. Police have pulled back from a part of the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood near the department's East Precinct after recent clashes with people protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Lawmakers, activists set ambitious agenda for police reform

The bills being drafted represent a broad overhaul of policing and police accountability in Washington.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Cottage during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)
Canada: US border measures to last until virus under control

About 400,000 people crossed the world’s longest international border each day before the pandemic.

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2019 file photo Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, left, looks on as Suzi LeVine, right, the state's Employment Security Department Commissioner, talks to reporters at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The state of Washington is calling in the National Guard to help process unemployment benefit claims as officials grapple with a backlog caused in part by a fraud ring that stole more than half a billion dollars in aid, officials said Thursday, June 11, 2020. LeVine said that Gov. Jay Inslee approved the deployment of troops who will start assisting her team next week as it tries to reduce the unemployment claim backlog.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)
Washington state auditor warns unemployment agency on audits

She’s accused of hindering a probe regarding the theft of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

Prosecutors: Hate crimes on the rise in King County

Two years ago, there were 30 hate crimes in King County. So far in 2020, the number is up to 51.

FILE - In this 2013 file photo, cone collectors like Gabe Thorne, of Hamilton, head up into the high country around the west to climb to the very top of whitebark pine and collect cones from disease-free trees in Sula, Mont. U.S. officials say climate change, beetles and a deadly fungus are imperiling the long-term survival of the high-elevation tree found in the western U.S.. (AP Photo/Ravalli Republic via AP, File)
High mountain pine tree that feeds grizzlies is threatened

Whitebark pine trees grow in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, California and Nevada.

Kennewick teen one of 1st children in state to die from COVID

About 15% of cases in Washington are in young people up to age 19.

Most Read