Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Noah's Ark Project needs your support to help 80 furry friends

The fourth installment of Nikole Poirier's "Noah's Ark" humanitarian mission to get pets traveling with their Canadian owners, stranded pets reunited with their Canadian owners, and stray dogs to forever homes in Canada (as well as Canadian work permit holders to and from Cayman) takes place on November 7.

But this flight is very different from the rest, and will need a lot of support.

Given the size of the next phase of this project, it will require a Combi 737-200 (in partnership with Nolinor and Momentum Solutions) to transport 65 dogs and 15 cats from the the Cayman Islands to Canada. This aircraft is unique in that it can accommodate a combination of passengers and cargo up to 30,000 lbs. (13,600 kg) in all configurations.

The configuration of the upcoming flight

"The main purpose behind this flight is to hopefully save 80 lives," says Nikole Poirier of the animals, 50 of which will be coming from the Humane Society and the remainder of which will be provided by One Dog at a Time, Canine Friends and PAWS. "This will also alleviate the incredible pressure that has been placed on the Humane Society during this pandemic."

Poirier explains that the regular spay and neuter of wild cats and dogs was considered a non-essential service during the lockdown period of the pandemic, which resulted in a large number of births that would have not otherwise occurred.

Image from a past Noah's Ark flight

"Now Cayman is inundated with litters of puppies and kittens, during a time when the Humane Society is already at capacity. This has been compound by pet abandonment, another unfortunate impact of the pandemic," Poirier explains. "Many repatriation flights did not allow passengers to travel with their beloved pets, and we have been working to bring them home to their families as well. Meanwhile, the Canadian rescue shelters remain relatively empty."

Due to a policy that was put in place during COVID, under which Canada considers pets non-essential cargo, rescue shelters have been cut off from their rescue partners around the world. The Noah's Ark Project, under the management of Poirier has managed to get around this challenge by transporting the animals in the cabin, not in the cargo hold.

"That is why this Combi aircraft is so important," Poirier explains. "In addition to assisting with pet rescue, this cargo vessel hopes to transport mail between Canada Post and Cayman Post, a service that has been halted since our borders were closed."

Given the unique nature of this most recent installment of the Noah's Ark Project, the capital requirements are significantly higher than for other flights.

"This aircraft is much more expensive than the aircraft I have been using," Poirer confirms. "Which means I have a lot of fundraising to do!"

Poirier is currently in the process of raising $25,000 for the upcoming mission. Donations can be made in person at the Humane Society or online, at https://www.caymangiftcertificates.com/ci-humane-society .

All donations of $100 or more will be entered for a 7-day stay at Crescent Beach, in Half Moon Bay.

Throughout the pandemic, the Noah's Ark Project has successfully coordinated three 737-800's and 2 private jets, assisting nearly 500 Canadian/Cayman Resident Passengers and nearly 250 pets.  

To find out more, contact Nikolepoirier@gmail.com.

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