Success: Airline Steps Up for Hurricanes’ Forgotten Victims

Target: Linda Rutherford, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at Southwest Airlines

Goal: Support the rescue of animals from disaster-ravaged regions and the placement of all endangered animals in loving homes.

Southwest Airlines has answered the call for the rescue of animals impacted by last year’s hurricanes: calls strongly made in this ForceChange petition concerning Hurricane Harvey and this petition addressing the plight of animals during Hurricane Maria’s aftermath. Recently, the global airline announced a promising partnership with Lucky Dog Rescue – a partnership in which Southwest Airlines will serve as an essential conduit between displaced animals in hurricane-ravaged areas of Puerto Rico and new forever homes in and around the D.C. area. This gesture follows Southwest making similar efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which significantly damaged Texas earlier in 2017.

Southwest will enable pilots to fly animals in desperate need of aid to safety and security. Every year, thousands of animals (including pets like cats and dogs) face eventual death in harsh conditions invoked by natural disasters. As Southwest Airlines and committed members of the ForceChange community have proven, dedicated, compassionate private citizens and public organizations can and often do make the most difference for these innocents. That is why this message is not only a congratulations but a call to further action.

Animal rescue organizations increasingly utilize the talents of pilots in transporting endangered shelter animals to rescue and adoption facilities. Private companies like Dog IS My CoPilot currently offer this service. The gift such trailblazing initiatives provide for pets and their future loving families is immeasurable. Often these strides are achieved with the diligence of a few volunteers and a single plane. Imagine the impact a global leader such as Southwest Airlines could make if it lent its full resources to the cause of animal welfare.

Sign this petition to thank Southwest Airlines for answering the call during devastating disasters and to urge continued, engaged involvement in animal rescue efforts nationwide.


Dear Ms. Rutherford,

Your partnership with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue – along with your previous partnerships with animal shelters during Hurricane Harvey– is a commendable and proactive step that will help ensure the welfare and livelihood of countless displaced animals. An organization with true long-term standing is often measured just as much by its humanity as by its profit margin. Southwest Airlines’ contributions to disaster relief and animal welfare over the past year set an encouraging example of what empathy and collaboration can accomplish.

You recently gave your support to this partnership and reinforced the eagerness of Southwest employees to aid such a worthy cause. In the future, you could provide even more invaluable aid. Today, numerous pilots and partner organizations spanning the country are lending their own helping hands. These individuals serve as a pathway between overburdened animal shelters and the places where abandoned animals find a lasting, healthy, and happy home. If you donated just a fraction of your considerable personnel and resources to similar efforts, you could increase the number of innocent animals rescued from dozens to thousands… and perhaps one day, millions.

We urge you to continue setting a gold standard among the airline industry for both quality service and quality care. Every year, you help individuals witness and be inspired by the beauty of the world’s animals. Help us in the fight for all these awe-inspiring beings.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Eric Kilby

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  2. Thank you Southwest Airlines for helping animals!

  3. THANKYOU. My dog I have now, is a rescue. She was displaced from a hurricane. No one came to claim her. Her name was “Little Girl #5”. Now, she is known as “Lily”.
    Lily still has separation anxiety. But every day, she is improving. But sadly, she came from somewhere warm all year round. Now, she lives in Canada. No hurricanes here, but she has discovered that we have cold weather, and worse, we have snow. Lily avoids snow at all costs. Using puppy pads, till the warmer weather comes. But thank you Southwest Airlines. Lily thanks you for stepping up to help other innocent victims displaced from their homes, and families.

  4. Kristen Johnston says:

    THANK YOU Southwest Airlines for helping animals!


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