Texas Shelter Animals Arrive in San Diego

San Diego County is an attractive city for animals needing homes because there are 12 shelters and more than 200 registered rescue groups.

More than 100 dogs and cats arrived in San Diego Tuesday as volunteers and non-profit organizations work to evacuate animals from Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

By the afternoon, dozens of people stopped by looking to adopt dogs and put them in forever homes. 

"I've been coming here for a few days trying to adopt," said San Diego local Evan Salvay, hoping to adopt a German Shepard puppy Tuesday at the San Diego Humane Society on Gaines Street. "I just walked in today and apparently there's a full shipment of puppies from Hurricane Harvey. I'm about to walk into a puppy extravaganza!" 

Eighty-five dogs and 45 cats were flown by private plane to San Diego County. It's one of a number of flights moving animals that were already in shelters to make room for animals rescued in last week's hurricane.

"These are indirect victims of Hurricane Harvey and the floods," said Rancho Coastal Humane Society spokesperson John Van Zante.

"Every one of these animals flying into San Diego today is two lives saved," he added, explaining that making room in a Texas shelter could mean saving the life of an abandoned or lost animal. 

The first flight arrived at Lindbergh Field with staffers from the Helen Woodward Animal Center who went to Houston following Hurricane Harvey.

The animals were slated to be taken to the Rancho Santa Fe animal center. The public will be able to see the animals and consider them for adoption.

A second flight landed in El Cajon with dogs and cats transported by the group Wings of Rescue.

San Diego County is an attractive city for animals needing homes because there are 12 shelters and more than 200 registered rescue groups. 

"You have a very educated community, a very humane community," said Ric Browde, President, and CEO of Wings of Rescue. 

That organization has already brought one plane-load of animals to San Diego.

In the last week, Browde has traveled to New Jersey, Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Washington and Oregon to try and find homes for animals in need. 

Wings of Rescue and the other organizations it's working with, including the San Diego Humane Society, are asking for donations of gently-used animal crates. 

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