Fuels and our Furry Friends, a life-saving combination

Sometimes the stories are high flying…

“A private plane crowded with kennels touched down at Oakland International Airport Sunday night.  The flight was filled with 69 dogs and cats rescued from the rising floodwaters in Texas.

“…animal rescue groups packed the plane with much-needed medications, collars, leashes and blankets and flew to Austin Sunday morning.  They returned with a plane filled to the brim with 15 cats and 54 dogs 8 p.m. Sunday night.

(Photo from Muttville Senior Dog Rescue)

“Many of the dogs were evacuated from a shelter in Beaumont, Texas that was affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. … Before Sunday’s rescue mission, the animals were at risk of being euthanized.”

Sometimes the story is quite down-to-earth…

“Best Friends Animal Society set up an impromptu shelter at the NRG Arena in Houston…where lost pets from Hurricane Harvey were kept safe in hopes their families would find them and take them home.

Luna (the dog) was one of the hundreds of pets at the shelter waiting for her family. … Luna’s history hasn’t been very easy … She was initially an abandoned dog roaming the streets of Laredo, Texas.  She was brought to Houston and had been passed around many, many times.”

And when Luna finally did find a loving home, along came Hurricane Harvey.  But this time, the story had a different ending, thanks to Best Friends, Doobert.com and Laura and Jeff’s 100-mile road trip.

“On Saturday, September 30, Laura and Jeff drove to the NRG Arena to pick up Luna and start her journey home.  Luna enjoyed the drive even though they were stuck behind a 10-car pileup on the way to College Station … Luna had a warm welcome home with endless hugs and love.  She is now safe at home with her family.”

Sometimes, the work is done one person, one dog, one propeller at a time:

(Photo from Flying Fur Animal Rescue)

Over the last two years, Flying Fur Animal Rescue has saved more than 900 animals, up and down the East Coast:

“Through a network of animal rescue organizations and ground transport, we help to move animals from kill shelters to areas where they will be adopted, and given a second chance at life.  Many times air transport is the safest and most efficient way to transport these animals.  Usually we can help move animals from shelter to rescue within the same day.

“Every day, healthy, loving animals throughout this country are condemned to euthanization, simply because they cannot get to other areas where they would otherwise be adopted – we help to change those odds.”

That’s the big picture.  This is Flying Fur’s story of Peter.

“Peter was a senior, found during the search of an abandoned building by NYC Police, tied up and left to die alone.

“…Imagine Pet Rescue stepped in and pulled Peter from the shelter. … Through a network of volunteers, we were alerted to Peter’s urgency” … he was driven from New York, to an airport in New Jersey, and flown …”to his new forever mom, Amber, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pa.”

And sometimes, the work of saving animals takes a 737 – and a village, of people, and of pets:

(Photo by Shelley Castle Photography, from Southwestaircommunity.com)

More than 60 cats and dogs, in fact, who flew on that 737, from Puerto Rico, to Baltimore.  Pets who’d been without a home since Hurricane Maria, or pets whose families were not able to care for them in the aftermath of the storm.

That’s when Lucky Dog Animal Rescue stepped in.  Working with PR Animals in Puerto Rico, and Southwest Airlines – the planning took months, and it took dozens of volunteers (including the crew of the plane.  The use of the plane was a donation from Southwest.), on both ends to carry out that plan.  But when it was done, that plane brought in 14,000 pounds of supplies in to Puerto Rico, and brought out all those cats and dogs to loving, safe homes.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about their fellow passengers, those cats and dogs WERE the passengers.  They didn’t fly down in the cargo hold.  They (and their travel crates) were strapped into seats in the main cabin.  Well, except for one dog.  (Co-pilot, we’re thinking.)

(Photo by Shelley Castle Photography, from luckydoganimalrescue.org)

Big and small, every day or extraordinary event, all of these rescues are made possible by people who love animals, and by the petroleum which fuels their rescue flights and drives.  The workings of an internal combustion engine might be as mysterious to a cat or a dog as they are to many humans – but the life-saving work of a petroleum-fueled engine – there’s no mystery at all about that.

 The ASPCA estimates that there are 78 million dogs and almost 86 million cats in the U.S., not to mention a wide variety of other animal pets.  Many of them are pets in loving homes, but as Peter’s story reminds us, not all.  And in times of disaster, even a loving home can be broken up and put at risk.

But as long as there are men and women willing to rescue animals in danger, they’ll be able to count on the fuels produced from petroleum to get them where they are needed, when they are needed – and back again.

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