Southwest flies cabin full of shelter pets out of storm-hit Houston

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(Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter) (Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter)
(Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter) (Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter)
(Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter) (Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter)
(Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter) (Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter)
(Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter) (Source: Southwest Airlines Twitter)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

It was a furry flight to San Diego this week as a Southwest jet helped evacuate 64 shelter dogs and cats from the hurricane-struck Houston area.

This was the jet's final flight before retirement.

And what better way to ring in retirement than to offer a lift to shelter pets who were displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

After Harvey, many shelter animals in affected areas had to be moved to other cities to make room for pets of displaced families.

The airlifted animals were among the hundreds being cared for at an emergency shelter set up by suburban Houston-based rescue organization Operation Pets Alive. The orphaned animals were previously being held in shelters around the Houston area but were displaced by Hurricane Harvey and the ensuing floods.

The furry friends were ferried into the aircraft’s main cabin in their carriers, which were then buckled into the seats or stowed in the foot space underneath each row.

The relief flight was done with help from the California-based Helen Woodward Animal Center, whose volunteers helped escort the animals. 

Southwest had previously worked with the group to evacuate pets after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The Dallas-based carrier donated the flight, and Southwest employees volunteered their time.

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