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IAG Cargo has ventured into extending care to our four-legged friends —dogs and cats, during the pandemic. The ferry is a case of the 50 unsuspecting rescue dogs and cats that boarded their special British Airways 747 to London Heathrow from Larnaca on 9th April for the chance at a new life on British soil. The cargo-only aircraft charter was also carrying food, perishables and essential medical supplies as part of IAG Cargo’s ongoing effort in the fight against Covid-19.

Cyprus is home to hundreds of thousands of stray dogs and millions of stray or feral cats, but a number of dedicated charities are working tirelessly to rehabilitate and rehome as many as possible. Thanks to Cyprus Dog Rescue, Dogs 4 Rescue and 101 Pet Express, among others, the 36 dogs and 14 cats were collected from the streets and pounds, and given essential medical checks before being  flown by IAG Cargo to the UK. Upon arriving in London, the animals were transported by vehicle to Gatwick’s Animal Reception Centre to meet their new owners – a mixture of families and rescue centres who can provide safer and more comfortable conditions.

The heart-warming mission took place in partnership with Airbridge International (AIA), with highly trained staff and animal handlers ensuring that each animal received specialist care and attention throughout every step of the journey.

Loneliness and increased time spent at home as a result of stringent lockdown measures are two factors contributing to a huge surge in animal adoption and fostering cases globally, as more people open their homes and hearts to furry companions. London’s Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, for example, rehomed around twice the number of animals in the week  commencing 16th March than it did during the same week in 2019.

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