Southwest Airlines flies 62 dogs and cats out of Puerto Rico for adoption in U.S.
(Shelley Castle Photography / Lucky Dog Rescue)
(FOX NEWS) - Talk about some lucky dogs.
On Jan. 20, Southwest Airlines flew 62 canines and cats out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Baltimore to be put up for adoption as the island nation continues to recover from Hurricane Maria, Dallas News reported.
The flight did some humanitarian good too: The Boeing 737 that Southwest used to transport the animals brought 14,000 pounds of "people" supplies to San Juan, as well.
MORE: Puerto Rico struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria | Group in Puerto Rico rescues hundreds of dogs
Organizing the transportation of Puerto Rico's four-legged passengers took months of coordination. According to a Southwest press release, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue of Arlington, Va. teamed up with Puerto Rican animal rescue group PR Animals, as well as staffers from Friendship Hospital for Animals and the airline, for the special flight.
"We are incredibly grateful to Southwest for partnering with us to make this flight a reality," Mirah Horowitz, Lucky Dog’s executive director and founder, said in the release.
“This flight will literally save lives — both of the animals who are transported to D.C. as well as to those who remain on the island and need the supplies we are bringing," she said.
PHOTOS: Puerto Rico struggles in Hurricane Maria's wake
The plan unfolded after Horowitz sent an unsolicited email to Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, per the Dallas News. It could not have worked out any better.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll be coming through the cabin shortly to get you some drinks,” the flight attendant announced to volunteers and media members as the aircraft prepared for takeoff, the Washington Post reports. “And to say hi to the puppies.”
“You cannot forget the dogs. When you forget the dogs, you forget what a good life means," federal government staffer Sonia Collazo told the Post of the “beautiful” event.
After their flight, the cats and dogs were transported to a Gaithersburg, Md. PetSmart for an adoption event, where most found forever homes.
Some of the Puerto Rican rescues are still available via the Lucky Dog website.
Those looking to donate to Lucky Dog's ongoing Puerto Rican relief efforts can do so here.