From Alberta, Canada to Uttarakhand, India, wildfires are wreaking havoc on an unprecedented scale. In the aftermath of these tragedies, some humane stories have been springing up too.
The Canadian wild fires caused more than 80,000 Fort McMurray residents to flee in order to save their lives — abandoning their possessions and homes behind, at the mercy of the fire. However, the worst loss of it all was that some residents were separated from their beloved pets.
Under normal circumstances, the airlines levy significant fees and have strict rules about allowing pets on board (normally pets are restricted to the plane’s cargo hold) but the two Canadian airlines – West Jet and Canadian North ensured that evacuating residents weren’t separated from their furry friends. They allowed the displaced pets to fly in main cabins along with their owners!
These evacuation flights saw many people turning up with their beloved pets thanks to the efforts of animal rescue groups and volunteers who helped save trapped pets from their homes.
According to CBC News, one Canadian North flight to Edmonton last Thursday carried 130 human passengers — as well as 19 dogs, including a Great Dane, five cats and two turtles.
“When we touched down, we got a standing ovation. It brought tears to our eyes, it’s a flight that will always remain in my memory.” ~Wanda Murray, flight attendant
“It’s definitely unusual to carry pets in the cabin, but due to the unusual circumstances we were able to bend the rules to accommodate these animals,” ~ Canadian North spokesperson
And that’s not all, Canadian North staff are even involved in some cute cat-sitting of their own. Meow Meow, the cat whose owner went into labor shortly after her evacuation, is serving as a temporary flight attendant!
Sometimes breaking rules is good. We dogs, for sure, would fly these carriers whenever we travel to the land of maple leaf 🙂