VIDEO: Bay Area non-profit Wings of Rescue helping pets affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas


LIVERMORE (KRON) — A Bay Area non-profit is using airplanes and animal crates to lend a hand to the Houston area.

Wings of Rescue is based out of Livermore, and they’re helping pets affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The organization is not just rescuing animals in the path of Harvey and its floodwaters, but also animals who were days away from death before the hurricane even hit.

In Houston, boats don’t just stop for stranded people. They stop for pets too.

Many of these owners were able to rescue their pets and keep them by their side.

Some animals, though, might not be reunited with their owners, and there are already enough dogs and cats in the Houston area waiting for a home.

That’s where Cindy Smith, founder of Wings of Rescue, comes in.

“We are flying those pets to our network of receiving rescue partners where they will be adopted, and in turn, that will open up the shelters for the pets that were displaced,” Smith said.

The nonprofit has been flying animals around the country for more than six years and has placed 28,000 pets into adoptable areas.

But this is the first time they’ve operated during a huge natural disaster.

Just Tuesday morning, Wings of Rescue flew 100 dogs from Texas to New Jersey.

And it’s not hard to round them up.

“They’re coming to us,” Smith said. “The shelters are all coming to the airports.”

You may be thinking there’s no way that Wings of Rescue could use all of these pet crates that are stacked up in a hangar at the Livermore Airport, but believe it or not, they chartered a plane for this coming Saturday. That’s big enough to hold 250 pets at once.

Smith says the nonprofit has enough funding for three or four additional flights to the Harvey-affected areas too.

That’s in the neighborhood of $17,000 per flight.

“We’re going to be flying all month,” Smith said. “I mean, as long as the donations keep coming in, we’re going to keep flying the pets to safety.”

Ideally, she wants dogs and cats in Houston to end up with their owners.

But for those that can’t, she’ll make sure they get airborne and adopted as soon as possible.

Amazingly, most of the money that funds Wings of Rescue comes in the form of small donations, often $5 or $10 at a time.Click here to donate to Wings of RescueWHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:


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