HONOLULU (KHON2) — Over 600 shelter dogs and cats from Hawaii boarded a chartered plane and were flown to mainland shelters on Oct. 28 to be adopted in efforts to relieve overcrowded pet shelters in the state.

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Greater Good Charities and Wings of Rescue launched the “Wings of Aloha” program. The program places shelter animals that have not been adopted or claimed in less crowded shelters in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, where they have a higher chance of finding a home.

“Pet shelters in Hawaii are in a COVID-19 crisis. Normal operations have been affected by months of shut down, economic downturn, limited hours, and routine flights to mainland halted,” said Liz Baker, CEO of Greater Good Charities.”‘Paws Across the Pacific is urgently needed to make space in Hawaii’s shelters for at-risk pets who otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive necessary care to survive.”

The flight marked the largest pet rescue flight in history.

A chartered Hercules C-130 plane made stops in Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island to pick up the pets.

Greater Good Charities says pets from Kauai Humane Society, Hawaiian Humane Society, Lanai Cat Sanctuary, Hawaii Island Humane Society, Maui Humane Society, Aloha`Ilio Rescue and Kauai SPCA will board the plane to make the journey to Seattle.

The organization says mainland pet shelters and rescue groups will then take 480 pets to various shelters while 120 furry animals will be transported to Walla Walla and Coeur d’Alene.

For more information, visit their website.

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