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The manifest for the flight on September 5 was anything but normal.

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In fact, it was quite “ruff.”

This is because the Southwest Airlines flight was full of Texas shelter animals, heading to their new lives in sunny Southern California.

“The idea was to move animals who were already in the shelters when the hurricane hit and were now facing euthanization … to make room for families’ pets that become homeless after Harvey,” Michelle Agnew, a spokeswoman for Southwest, said in an interview.

Staff members of Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego flew to Houston’s Operation Pets Alive (OPA!), where homeless pets were being housed temporarily.

After determining who was fit to travel, they then transported the animals a few days later.

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On their way to fur-ever homes as Californians, thanks to tireless volunteers, the animals are well taken care of by families who recognize their plight – and flight:

“They’re doing as well as they can considering the circumstances,” Mindy Wright, a representative of Helen Woodward Animal Center, said in an interview. “They were already in a tough situation, packed in close quarters without their normal routines or medications, and then had to go through the plane ride.”

All’s well that ends well!  Thank you, Southwest!

Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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