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Helen Woodward Animal Center, with help from nonprofit, rescues animals from Hurricane Ida

Courtesy of Helen Woodward Animal Center
Posted at 9:36 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 09:02:32-04

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. (KGTV) - Meet Pebbles. She's a one-year-old terrier mix adopted by Jacob Davis, who you could call her Bam-Bam.

"Oh my god! I locked eyes with her, and she has like these dark grey eyes that I've never seen on any puppy before,” Davis said.

“And I locked eyes, and she immediately started shaking, and her tail was going all over the place. It was love at first sight."

Pebbles came to San Diego and Davis on not your average charter flight with not your average passengers.

"It was a pretty amazing thing," Jessica Gercke of the Helen Woodward Animal Center said.

In all more than 70 fluffy and bright-eyed orphaned pups and cats touched down in El Cajon and were then taken to Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.

They were rescued by the center and a nonprofit, Greater Good Charities.

"They let us know that they had a number of shelters that were out in Louisiana, that were really dealing with some major challenges as you could imagine,” Gercke said.

The challenges are packed shelters and what was about to reach the shores of Louisiana.

"They were in the path of the hurricane,” Gercke said.

That hurricane was category 4 Hurricane Ida.

Before the storm swept through Louisiana, the Rancho Santa Fe shelter worked with Greater Good to fly the 72 animals out of harm’s way last Friday.

"There's something about knowing that many people, and that much money and funding and donation went into saving that tiny, tiny life,” Gercke said.

“That really touches my heart because we see the good that animals do for all of us."

And they got the animals to safety the very next morning.

"It's actually the fastest; it's a record for our center,” Gercke said.

So far, 11 of those animals are now at their new fur-ever homes instead of being right in the middle of Hurricane Ida’s path.

More are expected to be ready for adoption in the coming weeks.

The animals like Pebbles may be looking forward to a new place to lay their heads.

"Ahh! She's so happy! Every time I come home, and I see her, she loses her mind,” Davis said.

Those who are helping them get there aren't sleeping on what could have happened to these 72 animals.

"Every time I think those thoughts and I see her shaking her head around with her toy or wag her tail; it kind of puts a little smile on my face knowing that she's in a much better place,” Davis said.

Helen Woodward Animal Center said that they are actively looking for fosters for the Louisiana animals. To help or for more information can be found online here. You can also call 858-756-4117 x375, or visit Helen Woodward Animal Center at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.