In the end 286 cats and dogs arrived in Vancouver on Feb. 1, having left Kabul, Afghanistan a couple of days earlier.
The journey, though, started months ago as Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR) worked to get animals out of Afghanistan after the American army left; many were pets or working animals. It was a truly international effort, with American Charlotte Maxwell-Jones (of KSAR) coordinating a Russian plane to fly from Afghanistan to Turkey and then Iceland where UK veterinarians helped out.
They arrived in Vancouver in the evening to the delight of the volunteers gathered to help.
The journey was not an easy one, but well documented by those who participated.
For the animals, it started in Kabul, where they had been sheltered.
Hundreds of crates had to be secured to make sure everyone was safe during the journey.
Maxwell-Jones was on the ground as the plane took off.
In Turkey, local veterinarians checked them out.
The plane then headed to Iceland, where it stopped off again.
The final leg saw them fly across Canada and land in Vancouver in the evening.
The dogs and cats were excited to be on the ground again.