You Helped Us ‘Clear The Shelters’ In 2021 And Fly 160+ Pets To Safety!

On August 23, 2021, NBCUniversal Local, Greater Good Charities, The Animal Rescue Site, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition flew 167 at-risk shelter pets to safety and adoption–and we couldn’t have done it without your help!

With your support, we airlifted 68 dogs and 99 cats from Louisiana–-where overcrowded shelters leave animals at risk of euthanasia–-to safety in East Coast shelters, where demand for adoption is high.

Photo: Greater Good Charities

These life-saving flights marked the beginning of NBC Universal Local’s 7th annual Clear The Shelters pet adoption campaign, which will be running this year through Sept. 19, 2021.

Both Flights to Freedom–which departed from New Orleans, Louisiana, carrying 167 shelter pets in two planes–were operated by Greater Good Charities’ Good Flights program.

Photo: Greater Good Charities

“Good Flights are doing lifesaving airlifts from our shelter partners that have overpopulated shelters and very low adoption rates to our shelters that have high adoption rates and availability for adoptions,” said Erin Robbins, Director of Transport for Greater Good Charities.

Photo: Greater Good Charities

After flying out of New Orleans early Monday morning, our shelter pet passengers landed in New Jersey and Massachusetts, where their respective flights were met by eager shelter volunteers. There were even some famous faces in the crowd!

NBC star and last year’s Clear The Shelters ambassador, Ryan Eggold, showed up at New Jersey’s Morristown Airport to greet our planeload of shelter dogs.

Photo: Greater Good Charities

“I’m a huge supporter of Clear The Shelters just because I think rescue dogs, rescue cats, rescue animals are the best,” Eggold told Greater Good Charities.

“They’re so full of love, they’re so kind and I think it really means something to be rescued from a shelter and given a great home,” said the actor, who described his rescued pit bull, Jodie, as his “best friend” and “the greatest dog in the world.”

Photo: Greater Good Charities

But Eggold wasn’t the only person eager to greet our four-legged fliers. Shelter workers from St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center–one of the receiving shelters partnering with us on this year’s adoption campaign–couldn’t have been more excited to welcome this year’s Clear The Shelters passengers.

Photo: Greater Good Charities

“These dogs are all highly adoptable in our community,” a shelter worker told Greater Good Charities. “Louisiana is sort of inundated with large dogs and heartworm-positive dogs, but we through the Good Flights program are bringing up asymptomatic heartworm-positive dogs.”

Photo: Greater Good Charities

Not only does the New Jersey shelter have great demand for adoptable animals, St. Huberts also has the resources to treat heartworm-positive shelter dogs, thanks to sponsors Banfield and Boehringer Ingelheim.

“They’re providing the treatment so we can treat these guys and get them homes up here,” the shelter worker said.

Photo: Greater Good Charities

Our second Flights to Freedom landed in New Bedford, Massachussets, where kitten/cat passengers were distributed to local shelters for adoption. Demand for adoption is also high in this region, allowing our 99 feline fliers to quickly find forever homes.

Photo: Greater Good Charities

Theis year’s Clear The Shelters adoption drive will run through Sept. 19, 2021, and there are plenty of ways you can get involved.

Visit to find a participating shelter near you, donate to your local shelter, or make a donation to fund Flights to Freedom, which helps us save lives by flying at-risk shelter dogs to safety and adoption. Thanks for helping us clear the shelters and save lives!

Learn more in the video below:

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!