| Amanda Wallace

MORRISTOWN − A cargo plane touched down in Morristown on Wednesday morning carrying 85 adoptable cats and dogs who traveled from shelters in Alabama and Louisiana to find their forever homes with the help of local shelters.

The plane landed at Morristown Airport around 11:10 a.m., the sounds of muffled meows and barking echoing from inside of the aircraft as they opened up the door.

By 11:20 a.m. over 15 volunteers and staff from Greater Good Charities and local shelters were unloading the animals from the Ameriflight cargo plane one crate a time. They were organized into six transport vehicles that will take them to their next destination where they will be medically examined and cared for, spayed or neutered if necessary, and put up for adoption.

The New Jersey area partner shelters for this flight included St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center based in Madison, Char Wills German Shepherd Rescue in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and Animal Haven in New York City.

In total, Wednesday’s flight transported 19 cats and 66 dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes.

This fur-filled flight was part of Greater Good Charities’ Good Flights program in partnership with and According to their website, the Good Flights program “conducts life-saving airlifts and supports ground transport for some of the country’s most at-risk pet populations.” These at-risk populations include homeless cats, asymptomatic heartworm-positive dogs, disaster relief, and hard to place larger dogs.

These flights come into New Jersey twice a month.

“Today we had a lifesaving flight from seven sending partners, many of them leaving their shelters at midnight and getting their pets ready,” said Erin Robbins, vice president of Pet Programs and Good Flights at Greater Good. “They were all examined by vets and cleared to fly.”

This flight included 19 asymptomatic heartworm positive dogs who started treatment back in Louisiana.

Another focus of the Good Flights program is transporting animals to an area where there is a market for them rather than just piling more animals into shelters who are less likely to get adopted.

“We do not displace local pets. What we bring in is not what you already see in the shelter,” said Robbins. This brings awareness and attention not just to the new animals but also to the ones who have been at the shelter for a while, according to Robbins. For example, if shelters in New Jersey were to be overrun by a certain breed Good Flights would not transport more dogs of that breed into the state.

Since the program started in 2021, Good Flights has transported over 12,000 total shelter pets including over 8,400 dogs and 3,700 cats. These flights help take the pressure off of the overcrowded sending shelters.

“I think it is about lending a helping hand to all of our shelter friends. It has been hard out there the last couple of years, and we help out wherever we can, we do our best to give them even just a little bit of rest or space,” said Lynne Garcia, director of the Waystation program at St. Huberts. “If they can empty out five kennels it can give them enough breathing room to take care of the other animals that are waiting.”

If you are interested in adopting or donating to the participating shelters or charities, visit their websites.

This article originally appeared on Check out the furry flight that brought 85 adoptable cats and dogs to North Jersey

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