Monday, June 17, 2013

Did Someone Pee in My Cheerios This Monrning? An Earthquake, Followed By News About American Airlines?

Update 6-18-13: I guess the Billionaire's endorsement wasn't enough after all?  From the Humane Society:

Pet With Wings Update: 

A message from the Shelter Manager Rhea Vasconcellos

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Humane Society of St. Thomas, 

The "Pet With Wings" program, developed by the HSSTT, is still active and will continue to be an integral part of our operations. However, what HAS changed, is that after approximately 2 years working together, our travel partner American Airlines will no longer waive the transportation fee, that has enabled us to transfer over 150 animals off-island to mainland no-kill shelters. American Airlines is now charging the shelter $125 (under the seat) and $175 (under the plane). This will place a great hardship on maintaining our progress, but we are determined to work very hard to sustain this greatly needed program.

We have been very appreciative of the past support from American Airlines. Upon learning of the risk to the program's continuance, HSSTT sent a package of support from the community to American Airlines Corporate, including a cover letter appealing for their consideration. We have not received an official response in writing. However, through their local representatives, American Airlines has verbally confirmed that at this time AA Corporate is unable to waive any transport fees for the HSSTT, and future requests will be decided on a case by case basis.

As many of you know and can relate to, living on a island limits our available transportation options. We cannot travel cross country by vehicle or access affordable airline charter lifts. In order to get as many of our unwanted animals to no-kill shelters, in jurisdictions with mandatory spay/neuter legislation, where they are adopted within days, due to pet shortages… we are dependent on the airlines. We know, and can substantiate, that the "Pet With Wings" program saves lives. We are still optimistic that American Airlines will reconsider their decision, or at the very least will give our non-profit organization a substantial discount on these transportation fees.

We are also hoping that the many signatures and comments (1,300+) garnered through the online petition (, created by Mr. Griffin McFarlane, which sought to encourage American Airlines to maintain it's historical relationship with the "Pets With Wings" program, will help us to achieve the desired successful outcome for all interested parties. We are aware that many of you have pledged to discontinue using the services of American Airlines, pending their final decision, which would indeed be unfortunate from a corporate standpoint. But, we sincerely hope that your passion and desire to do what is right by the "Pet With Wings" program, overflows into your continued advocacy for the Humane Society of St. Thomas, and it's dedicated mission for the advancement of the "humane treatment, welfare of animals, and the control of animal overpopulation, through membership involvement".

We are absolutely grateful for the tide of sponsorship offers, which are steadily growing, from many friends and supporters. We owe a great debt of thanks to those individuals who have sponsored recent transportation fees, enabling us to transfer 3 dogs, during the last week. One of our volunteers, Cindy Bourn, successfully started her own campaign to raise funds to send her foster pup to Boston.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the "Pet With Wings" program can do so by calling the shelter at (340) 775-0599, if they would like to pay by credit card. To send a check, please mail to the Humane Society of St. Thomas, 2F Donoe, PO Box 8150, St. Thomas, VI 00801. Even if you are unable to sponsor the entire amount for a transfer, any amount will be appreciated.


Send your thoughts to American Airlines at

Update 6-17-13: Cheerios weren't so bad after all, but it took a local Billionaire to change the minds of American Airlines?

Watching the morning news this morning in bed, I heard the all too familiar sound of a truck crashing down a hill, that sound is an earthquake!  We had a 4.4 this morning off of Anegada.  I really didn't feel the house shake, more of like a vibration?  We do seem to have a few tremblers here as we lie on the Caribbean Plate.

Issued By: USGS
Affected Jurisdictions: Virgin Islands

Headline: USGS Earthquake Alert: M 4.4, Anegada, British Virgin Islands

Image Monday, June 17, 2013 11:33:54 UTC
Monday, June 17, 2013 07:33:54 AM at epicenter

Depth: 28.00 km (17.40 mi)

Earthquake Distances: (Calculated within VI-Alert)

48.05 Miles from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
75.61 Miles from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
39.18 Miles from St. John, US Virgin Islands
50.47 Miles from Water Island, US Virgin Islands

Even worse of the earthquake, I was reading the local news with my coffee to see that American Airlines has cancelled their Pets With Wings program that helped fly homeless shelter pets to the mainland (I wrote an earlier post about this program).

My suggestion would be to voice your opinion on their facebook page and send them an email.

I know that I have recently moved my allegiance away from AA to Delta, and maybe Delta can pick up the slack? I know they have recently increased their service from once a day from Atlanta to two a day and this Winter will do once a day from JFK.

Email American Airlines:

AA facebook:

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