785 Shelter Pets Board Holiday “Freedom Flights” From Los Angeles

November 21, 2016

ASPCA volunteer transfers a cat in a carrier

Love was “in the air” on Friday, November 18, as the ASPCA and several partner organizations gathered at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, California, to help give 785 at-risk animals a second chance.

The animals—including 620 dogs and 165 cats of all ages, sizes and breeds—came from partner shelters in California and Louisiana where their chances of adoption were slim. At the airport, staff and volunteers from the ASPCA and the County of Los Angeles worked side-by-side to load the animals onto 14 Wings of Rescue planes for transport to receiving shelters across eight states and Canada, where they will stand a much better chance at finding a home.

Lance Hunter

“The planning and dedication of the Los Angeles Relocation team really made the Holiday Airlift idea a reality,” said Lance Hunter, Relocation Director at the ASPCA. “To see all of this come together—I have never been more proud of what I do and what this team accomplishes while helping save so many lives.”

The 785 animals came from partner shelters including County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control, Los Angeles City East Valley Animal Shelter, Tulare Animal Control Services, Bakersfield SPCA, Bakersfield Animal Care Control, Riverside County Animal Control, Stray Cat Alliance, SEAACA, Imperial County Animal Control, Ventura County Animal Shelter and Acadiana Animal Aid. The ASPCA alone helped move 362 dogs and cats.

Volunteers transferring cats

On the receiving end, enthusiasm was equally as palpable. “There was so much excitement as six destination partners waited at Paine Field for the delivery,” said ASPCA Relocation Director Lea Lucky, who helped greet five planes carrying over one hundred cats and dogs in Everett, Washington.

After receiving the animals, Lea and the team loaded them onto transport vans and sent them off to begin their new lives. “It was such an amazing day. I’m so glad I was able to be a part of this fantastic effort by so many dedicated people,” she said.

Volunteers moving animals off the plane

The ASPCA is proud to have given these innocent dogs and cats the best possible chance at finding a home for the holidays.

Animals transported in this holiday airlift have been received by the following shelters:

  • Alternative Humane Society
  • Barc’s Rescue
  • Columbia Humane Society
  • Home for Homeless Pets
  • Humane Society for Southwest Washington
  • Humane Society of Skagit Valley
  • Kitsap Humane Society,Kootenai Humane Society
  • PAWS (Lynwood, WA)
  • Pikes Peak SPCA
  • SafeHaven Humane
  • Santa Fe Humane
  • Save A Life Canada
  • Sean Casey Animal Rescue
  • Seattle Area Feline Rescue
  • Seattle City
  • Spokanimal
  • Social Tees
  • Spokane Humane Society
  • Idaho Humane Society
  • Stafford Humane Society
  • St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center
  • Sunny Sky’s Animal Rescue
  • Tacoma Humane Society
  • The Noah Center
  • Tompkins County SPCA

Please join us in wishing these inspiring “paw-sengers” safe travels and bon voyage!

ASPCA transport