Saving Animals' Lives

Signature Programs That Save Animals' Lives

At the heart of GreaterGood's mission to help people, pets, and the planet is a rich variety of effective, carefully-vetted charitable programs. Several of our Signature Programs focus on amplifying the good by saving animals’ lives.

When you click the “Click to Give” button on GreaterGood or The Animal Rescue Site or play Games that Give and Trivia to Give, GreaterGood funds food and supplies for shelter pets.

Learn more about all the projects these signature programs fund below and how they are saving animals’ lives.  See updates from these important programs here.

Signature Programs

Flights to Freedom

Flights to Freedom transport pets from overcrowded shelters where they risk euthanasia to safety in shelters where they’ll be quickly adopted.

Since the program began in 2015, Flights to Freedom – which are operated by Greater Good Charities' Good Flights with support from the Animal Rescue Site and readers like you! – have flown thousands of rescued dogs and cats to safety and adoption.

In 2021, Good Flights also began flying Save a Heart routes, which transport asymptomatic heartworm-positive shelter dogs from the South where overcrowded shelters often lack the resources to treat sick animals to safety in shelters where they can receive treatment and get adopted. 

Now Save a Heart flights operate in conjunction with our monthly Flights to Freedom to save even more animals' lives by flying at-risk shelter pets to safety, treatment, and adoption! Support our next flight!


Emergency Animal Care

This signature program provides shelter pets with the medical care they need to lead healthy lives and get adopted.

The Emergency Animal Care Fund helps save animals like Penelope, an abused kitten who wound up at the shelter with a badly mangled back leg. This injury left the kitten in pain and because many shelters lack the resources to treat sick or injured animals at risk of euthanasia.

Fortunately, Penelope got the surgery she needed with support from The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood readers, whose donations helped us provide the kitten with life-saving care! Now Penelope is a happy, healthy kitten living her best life in a forever home. Click here to help us provide other sick or injured shelter pets with critical care.




Disaster Response: Pets  

In addition to helping shelter pets meet their daily needs, GreaterGood provides emergency aid to help animals affected by disasters.

This includes quickly distributing emergency aid to help shelters and shelter pets affected by hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes, and fires; providing masks and PPE to keep vets, staff, and shelter pets safe during the pandemic; and offering pet food and supplies to refugees fleeing war zones with animals in tow. GreaterGood also helps those weathering crises closer to home by providing Good Packs/Pet Packs to help homeless people care for their pets.

GreaterGood readers play a critical role by supporting these life-saving programs, which are conducted by Greater Good Charities with support from the Animal Rescue Site. Thanks for helping us save animals' lives when disaster strikes!



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Updates From the Field

Flight to Freedom- March 2023


On March 20, over 50 dogs were flown out of overcrowded shelters in Louisiana and to New Jersey and Rhode Island to find loving homes. Thank you for your support! 




Flight to Freedom- February 2023


This month's Flight to Freedom saved 59 dogs from overcrowded shelters in New Orleans and flew them to Idaho for a fresh start. We couldn't have done it withour your help, so thank you! 



Flight to Freedom - January 2023


Thanks to your support we were able to fly over 100 at-risk shelter dogs from overcrowded shelters in Louisiana to loveing homes in New Jersey. 



Giving To Animals In Need- Holiday Season 2022


You funded 13,034 care packages filled with essential items for both cats and dogs over the holiday season. Learn about more ways you helped save shelter pets in 2022 here



Flight to Freedom- 2022 in Review


Thanks to your generous support, we were able to help fund 13 trips, transporting 948 shelter dogs and cats to their forever homes. 



Disaster Relief- 2022 in Review


With your help, $82,693 was provided for disaster relief to help people and pets after Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Fiona. 




Medical Case- Hawkeye

Hawkeye was hit by a vehicle and suffered a shattered femur. Thanks to you, he was able to get the life-saving surgey and care he needed. Donations made to Greater Good Charities’ Emergency Animal Medical Fund allowed Hawkeye to make a full recovery! He was soon back to his best playful self.



Medical Case- Blanca

Blanca and her six siblings were born to a mother who had known only neglect and hardship. Very early in their lives, they began to show symptoms of pyoderma and demodex mange, their skin steadily worsening. Blanca and her brothers and sisters were in so much pain and discomfort. Your generous donations helped heal the innocent puppies and gave them the second chance they deserved. 


Clear the Shelters Flights – Updated August 2022

NBCUniversal Local, Greater Good Charities, The Animal Rescue Site, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition partnered on two special life-saving pet airlifts to celebrate the annual Clear The Shelters pet adoption and donation campaign in August!

On Aug. 2, our first Clear The Shelters flight airlifted 155 at-risk kittens and cats from overcrowded Florida shelters to safety in Massachusetts, where the shelter pets were quickly transferred to local shelters for adoption. A second plane carrying 90 at-risk shelter dogs and 30+ cats will fly from Louisiana and Alabama to safety in New Jersey on Aug. 30.

Both flights will help save harder-to-adopt cats and dogs from overpopulated shelters in the South, including asymptomatic heartworm-positive shelter dogs, homeless cats, and large dogs. Without these special flights, many of these animals would be at risk for euthanasia.

Learn more about Clear the Shelters 2022 and how you can support our shelter pet fliers!

Medical Case- Lucy & Ethel 

Meet Lucy and Ethel! They’re a bonded pair who came to a shelter with only each other to rely on and received critical medical care thanks to Greater Good Charities’ Animal Medical Fund. Lucy needed to have both eyes removed, and while Ethel underwent heartworm treatment, she also needed to have her ear canal removed to prevent chronic infection. These girls were prepared to help each other through it all, Ethel becoming Lucy’s Seeing Eye Dog and Lucy Ethel’s hearing assistant.

Emergency Animal Medical Saves 800 Animals & Counting -- Updated July 2022

Since the Emergency Animal Medical fund began in 2015, you’ve helped us raise more than $1.1 million dollars to support animals with medical needs! To date, nearly 800 shelter pets have been saved through this life-saving Greater Good Charities program, which is supported by The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood readers like you!

Your donations help us save shelter pets like Clark, a former stray who was initially misdiagnosed with cancer. But before Clark could be euthanized, Animal Rescue Site readers raised enough money to remove the dog’s worrisome growths (which fortunately turned out to be benign) through this life-saving program, which exists to help shelter pets overcome various medical issues. Now Clark is a happy, healthy dog living his best life in an adoptive home. Thanks for helping us give Clark and other shelter pets a second chance at life!

Medical Case- Dusty

Dusty, a rescued donkey, was purchased at a livestock auction, along with 49 other donkeys and two draft horses. Dusty was malnourished, his ears and skin badly damaged. He and the other rescues began the long road to recovery at a sanctuary in Texas. You helped Dusty beat  infection and pneumonia! Thank you! 



Medical Case- Captain America

Puppy suffering from parvovirus was saved, thanks to your support. The little pup received the intensive care and life-saving treatment he needed. 




Save a Heart Flights Celebrate 1st Anniversary! Updated April 2022

Save a Heart is celebrating its first anniversary!

In April 2021, GreaterGood and Greater Good Charities teamed up to launch Save a Heart flights, which transport heartworm-positive shelter pets from Louisiana--where shelter overcrowding leaves heartworm-positive shelter pets at risk of euthanasia--to shelters where they can receive treatment and get adopted. Save a Heart flights also transport shelters dogs at risk for contracting heartworm disease, which threatens animals’ lives across the Bayou State. 

Now just one year after this life-saving transport program began, we’ve already flown over 1,600 at-risk shelter dogs on our Save A Heart routes to safety, treatment, and adoption! This includes 500 heartworm-positive dogs who would have otherwise been euthanized. Thanks for helping us give at-risk shelter pets a second chance! Support our next Save a Heart flight!

Medical Case- PattyCakes

Three-week-old PattyCakes was suffering from nearly every affliction you can think of. She had eye infections in both eyes, an upper respiratory infection, severe ear mites in both ears, intestinal parasites, fleas, severe diarrhea, dehydration, panleukopenia and anemia. Thanks to your support, PattyCakes was quickly hospitalized and received the care she needed. 



Medical Case- Phoenix

Phoenix was found near death, his throat deeply cut in what was likely an attempt to kill him. After undergoing two reconstructive surgeries in China, Phoenix was transported to the U.S. for further medical care and treatment. Greater Good Charities’ Animal Medical Fund covered the cost of Phoenix’s multiple surgeries and intensive care, saving his life. 



Medical Case- Brownie 

When Brownie was hit by a car, his owners left him with local animal control. He was diagnosed with pelvic and tibial fractures and put on cage rest. Orthopedic specialists evaluated Brownie and determined that an arthrodesis would help us save his leg. This procedure is costly, but thankfully, donors to Greater Good Charities’ Animal Medical Fund generously covered the cost. Brownie got the operation he so badly needed and began his tail-wagging journey to full health and happiness. 


Historic Flight Airlifts 600 Shelter Pets To Safety Updated Oct. 2020

On Oct. 29, 2020, you helped us make history by supporting PawsXPacific, a rescue flight that flew 600 Hawaiian cats and dogs across the ocean to safety on a chartered C-130 cargo plane. Many shelter pet fliers had languished for months in overcrowded island shelters, but your generous donations helped us fly them to safety in Seattle, where they were distributed to shelters around the Pacific Northwest! Many shelter pet fliers were adopted within days of landing in Seattle. 

This historic flight helped us save dogs like Chai, an Australian cattle dog adopted shortly after arriving at Seattle Humane, and Luna, an island cat now living her best life in Idaho. 

GreaterGood Helps Wildlife Trapped in Australian Bushfires 2019-2020

GreaterGood and its donors sprang into action during the 2019-2020 bushfires in Australia. Thanks to more than $465,000 in donations from generous donors like you, GreaterGood has been able to provide several organizations with grants to help the estimated one billion animals affected by the flames! 

This included funding healthcare for badly burned koalas like Ainsley and Rupert, a mother-son koala pair rescued by police officers from wildfires near the Gold Coast town of Carunga. Without medical care and a place to live, they’d have faced a sorry fate. 

With your support, we were able to partner with rescue organizations on the ground to help animals in need, both those who had been displaced by the fires and those who were injured and burned as they escaped from them. These creatures included kangaroos, koalas, possums, kookaburras, birds, owls, reptiles, snakes, and other native species, totaling more than 27,000 creatures within the space of a year. Thanks for helping us save koalas and other wildlife affected by these deadly fires!

GreaterGood Saves Lives Following Hurricane Florence – Updated 2018

As Hurricane Florence approached the East Coast, Greater Good Charities began putting rescue plans in place. By the time the category 4 storm made landfall in the Carolinas, our charity partner was ready to deliver emergency shipments of food and supplies through our shelter partners and transfer animals to higher ground.

However, these life-saving efforts wouldn’t be possible without the steady support of our GreaterGood readers, whose generous donations helped us provide whole pallets of pet food to shelters caring for displaced animals while donating almost 1,000 wire crates for displaced animals around North and South Carolina. Learn more about how your donations helped us save animals impacted by Hurricane Florence. 

GreaterGood Helps Animals Affected By Deadly Storms – Updated 2017

Just weeks after Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas in August 2017, Hurricane Maria pounded Puerto Rico while Hurricane Irma punished Florida with one of the strongest Atlantic storms we’ve ever seen.

In the wake of each disaster, GreaterGood quickly responded by distributing critical shipments of food and supplies, moving shelter pets to higher ground, and helping our rescue partners care for displaced animals. Such a coordinated response wouldn't be possible without our GreaterGood family, whose steady support helps fund our disaster relief programs. Thanks for helping us help animals when they need it the most! Learn more about our disaster relief efforts following the deadly hurricane season.