Momentum Makes the Impossible…Pawsible
Momentum charters Sunwing 737-800 to repatriate 117 Canadians, 26 Pets and 23 Rescues from Grand Cayman to Toronto’s Pearson Airport.
Earlier this week, Momentum partnered with a Caymanian based Canadian initiative to provide a private charter travel option for a group of Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents looking to travel home from the Cayman Islands, many of whom had refused to abandon their pets to travel onboard a previous commercial flight from GCM Airport back to Canada in April that would not allow pets. Canada currently has restrictions in place pertaining to non-essential cargo, and domestic animals are deemed to be non-essential, which is why most airlines will not accept to carry them currently.
Momentum designed a customized charter travel plan with Sunwing Airlines to find a solution for the stranded group. Sunwing offered its wings and opened its cabin doors to help bring full families (furry four-legged members included) back home, all within the cabin. All uncrated animals traveled with owners and pet escorts, were harnessed and wore a basket muzzle, each assigned to their own row of three seats to ensure ample space for dogs to stretch out on protective floor coverings while traveling.
This flight was close to the hearts of many on the Momentum team as we were also able to bring 23 rescue dogs and cats to their forever homes in Canada through a partnership between the Cayman Islands Humane Society and PARS, the Peel Animal Rescue Society. All the dogs had been rescued in Cayman, passed a training and rehabilitation assessment program and spent time with foster families in Cayman before being adopted out to loving families here in Canada through PARS. The efforts of all involved saved multiple pups from euthanasia, re-homed dogs abandoned due to physical disabilities and rescued many from circumstances of inhumane treatment and neglect.
Among the rescues:
Sheldon, a Shar-Pei English coonhound mix was seized from a home hoarding 30 other animals.
Gus, a deaf American Bull-dog / Boston terrier mix.
Eunice, a Labrador / Belgian Shepherd Malinois mix malnourished and heavily pregnant with pups when rescued.
The Sunwing 737-800 departed Grand Cayman at 12:00 pm local time and landed in Toronto shortly before 4:00 pm local. All the rescues cleared customs with veterinary certificates and proceeded to Terminal 3 arrivals and pickup area with their volunteer pet escorts, where all 10 adoptive families were gathered wearing masks and practicing appropriate social distancing, holding welcome signs with their dogs names brightly displayed. Particularly excited was Gus’s new sister Kaydence, dressed as a princess, who has been lobbying her mom Amanda for a ‘fur-brother’ for two years. Nearby was Anna Marie and her daughter Kate, keening for a first glimpse of their new furry family member, Nelson.
In the days since the air charter, all 10 dogs have settled in beautifully to their new homes here in Canada. Check out the photo gallery to see the smiling faces of some of the rescue pups and their new families, as well as some pre-departure and inflight photos.
Photo credits: Nikole Poirier, Lily Chan, Sunwing Crew, Various adoptive rescue families.
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