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Homeless pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey touch down at Hollywood Burbank Airport

Local nonprofits and pet stores are hoping to find more than five dozen cats and dogs displaced by Hurricane Harvey new homes in Southern California.

The Lucy Pet Foundation, a Westlake Village-based nonprofit best known for its free mobile spay and neuter clinics, flew in 63 animals from Houston, Texas, to Hollywood Burbank Airport on Thursday and distributed them to several nonprofits and pet stores to be put up for adoption.

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More than a dozen volunteers from the various groups gathered on the airfield tarmac next to Atlantic Aviation's hangar on Sherman Way and started off-loading small and large plastic kennels with cats and dogs of various ages inside.

Pet handlers from all around Southern California help unload a plane filled with pets in crates, arriving from Houston, Texas, at Atlantic Aviation in Burbank on Thursday, November 16, 2017.
Pet handlers from all around Southern California help unload a plane filled with pets in crates, arriving from Houston, Texas, at Atlantic Aviation in Burbank on Thursday, November 16, 2017. (Tim Berger / Burbank Leader)

As soon as each animal was accounted for, they were quickly placed into the backs of SUVs and vans to be taken to pet stores and foster locations.

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"Every pet needs a home," said Dani Caouette, owner of Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Santa Clarita. "We saw them abandoned in Texas, and we know that they're suffering, so we're bringing them into our stores to help them find a new home."

A crate with kittens is unloaded from a plane filled with pets flown from Houston, TX at Atlantic Aviation in Burbank on Thursday, November 16, 2017.
A crate with kittens is unloaded from a plane filled with pets flown from Houston, TX at Atlantic Aviation in Burbank on Thursday, November 16, 2017. (Tim Berger / Burbank Leader)

Jim Edwards, who works for Theresa's Country Feed & Pet in Simi Valley, said it is important that animal nonprofits and stores help homeless Texas pets in their time of need.

"We can't have these animals put down," Edwards said. "We need these animals to go to homes where people will love them and make them feel safe for as long as they live on this planet."

Joey Herrick, founder of the Lucy Pet Foundation, said there have been hundreds of animals held the past three months in an abandoned supermarket in Houston that was converted into a temporary animal shelter. However, the facility is scheduled to close on Dec. 7 and could result in those animals being euthanized.

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An Akita, in a crate, is unloaded from a plane loaded with other pets rescued by Lucy Pets at Atlantic Aviation in Burbank on Thursday, November 16, 2017.
An Akita, in a crate, is unloaded from a plane loaded with other pets rescued by Lucy Pets at Atlantic Aviation in Burbank on Thursday, November 16, 2017. (Tim Berger / Burbank Leader)

The pet delivery in Burbank was the fourth drop-off of animals from Houston that Lucy Pet has made in the United States. Herrick said his organization has previously transferred cats and dogs to Oregon, Rhode Island and New York.

Herrick said he has been amazed at the generosity and support that other nonprofits and businesses across the country have given his organization to give the hundreds of animals affected by Hurricane Harvey another chance.

"Many rescue groups have gotten together to make this happen," Herrick said.

Twitter: @acocarpio

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