When more than 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta, were forced to flee the city this month due to the enormous wildfires many of them evacuated by plane.
But faced with the horror prospect of having to leave their beloved pets behind to face the inferno alone, many turned up at the airport with their animals in the desperate hope they’d be allowed on the flights.
Airlines have strict regulations about carrying animals in the cabin, and under normal circumstances the pet owners would have been turned away.
But in a heartwarming show of goodwill not often shown by big corporations, Canadian North and WestJet decided to break their own rules so that the passengers could travel with their pets.
A spokesman for Canadian North told the Huffington Post: “It’s definitely unusual to carry pets in the cabin, but due to the unusual circumstances we were able to bend the rules to accommodate these animals.”
Photos of the novel scenes were posted on Twitter by pet owners and the airlines, with animals of all shapes and sizes packing the cabins on flights out of the city.
— Cas Courcelles (@cascourcelles) May 6, 2016
— Melissa Przedborski (@mprzedborski) May 7, 2016
— Canadian North ✈ (@CanadianNorth) May 6, 2016
— Canadian North ✈ (@CanadianNorth) May 5, 2016
— Ali Blair (@AliBlair112) May 6, 2016
And it wasn’t just dogs and cats that were allowed either…
— CarmenCampbell✈ (@mum2boyz) May 7, 2016