Animals en route to new homes in the States will continue to fly free on American Airlines thanks to a well-known Virgin Islands philanthropist.
American Airlines ended its sponsorship of the Humane Society of St. Thomas’ Pets with Wings program last week due to “restructuring” and the number of requests it receives, the St. Thomas Source reported Friday. American Airlines reinstated the program over the weekend, however, after being endorsed by philanthropist Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein is one of the largest investors in the US Virgin Islands. He is also a financial supporter of the Humane Society.
The Pets with Wings program allows travelers on American Airlines to chaperone a local shelter animal from the US Virgin Islands to another shelter in the United States. American Airlines typically charges $125 for pets that travel under a seat and $175 for dogs that go as cargo; however those fees are waived for pets traveling through the program.
American Airlines has flown more than 150 animals from the US Virgin Islands since the program began two years ago.
Looking to adopt a pet from the US Virgin Islands? If so, please check out the St. John Animal Care Center here. You can also check out the Humane Society of St. Thomas here.
6 thoughts on “Pets with Wings Will Continue”
Here is what the St Thomas Humane Society has posted on their facebook page?
Humane Society of St Thomas The program itself has NOT been cancelled. American Airlines HAS TERMINATED their “fly free” relationship with the shelter. HSSTT will have an official statement on all that has taken place, shortly within the week.
Bless you Mr. Epstein for helping these loving animals to get to their forever homes. There is a special place for people like you in heaven, I really do believe that. I wish I was in a position to do the same. It makes me feel so good when I’m able to make a donation to the ACC of St. John, send them a care package, or send one or more of the shelter doggies for a kennel free day of doggie day care at Canines, Cats, and Critters. My favorite long distance foster island doggie, Cally has been at the ACC for over 2 years now so she really enjoys a kennel free day of day care. Two years is too long for any dog to be in a shelter. Thank God, the ACC is a “no kill” shelter with the best employees, volunteers, and supportors that do such amazing work day after day. Thank you again Mr. Epstein.
Folsom, Ca. and previously a frequent visitor to St. John.
Dear Mr. Epstein, thank you so much for what you have done to help keep this program going. Every year I look forward to traveling to St. John and visiting the ACC, and I mostly knowing that this pups/kittens will have a chance to find a home, either in St John, or the flying back to the states..
Bless you Mr. Epstein and thank goodness your name and reputation precedes you. Thank you so very much! Now American Airlines can focus their cash on painting their planes with their new look.
This is the best news of the week, I would also like to thank Mr. Epstein for his kindness and commitment to getting the island dogs to hopefully their “forever homes”. I adopted my “Lil John” from the ACC on STJ and I love love love the little guy.