By Pet Age Staff//September 1, 2023
By: Pet Age Staff//September 1, 2023
Press release: Petco Love
National nonprofit Petco Love, BOBS from Skechers and Wings of Rescue joined to evacuate 140+ shelter pets out of Florida to support partner animal welfare organizations in the area after Hurricane Idalia hit the state on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane.
The first flight headed out of the Tampa area, led by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and the Pet Resource Center at Hillsborough County Animal Shelter, left early Thursday morning. Another flight from northern Florida led by Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS), includes cats and dogs from JHS and Columbia County shelters, is scheduled to leave on September 1. The team at the Brandywine Valley SPCA will be waiting as the plane touches down in Delaware to coordinate the adoption of these pets to families in the surrounding areas. This collaborative effort represents a shared commitment to saving pets lives during times of crisis.
Lori, a puppy from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, was one of the pets airlifted from the devastated areas hoping to find a new, loving home. The Brandywine Valley SPCA greeted Lori, along with 81 other pets, with open arms and promised her, she and all the others, will be well cared for as they get them ready for adoption at the Brandywine Valley SPCA.
Petco Love’s “Love Is in the Air” lifesaving disaster flight mission aims to alleviate the burden on Florida animal welfare organizations as they recuperate from the storm and help more pets who were injured or went missing from home in the hurricane. Every cat and dog on the flight was medically cleared by a licensed veterinarian as able to travel.
“This animal airlift operation is a testament to the remarkable power of collaboration. Working hand in hand, multiple local and national nonprofits came together to facilitate safe and efficient transport of animals to shelters in the north to create capacity at local Florida organizations to serve the community in their time of need,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love.
“When disaster strikes, our mission is to save at-risk dogs and cats by delivering them to safe havens,” said Ric Browde, CEO and president of Wings of Rescue. “And thanks to our partnership with Petco Love and BOBS from Skechers we are able to Let The Fur Fly and save pets in need.”
“Through purchases of our BOBS from Skechers offering, we have donated $10 million — much of which has supported animals in crisis. There’s no greater example of this than the devastating threat of natural disasters like Hurricane Idalia, and the rapid response of Wings of Rescue and Petco Love is a testament to our great impact when we all band together for good,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “As incidents like this increase in severity, we are committed to being there for local shelters across the country and the animals they care for every day.”
Petco Love encourages pet parents who lost or found a pet during Hurricane Idalia to use the Petco Love Lost online database to simplify and shorten the lost pet search by using just one photo of a pet. The national lost and found pet database is fast, free, and easy to use, especially in an emergency like a hurricane. Patented image-recognition technology enables the database — populated by more than 2,500 shelter locations — to identify and reunite lost pets.
September 1 also marks the beginning of National Preparedness Month. Pet parents can ensure they are prepared for a disaster or emergency by planning ahead, including registering their pets on Petco Love Lost while they are safe in their care.