Austin-based business Tito's Handmade Vodka took to the skies to airflight 300 homeless pets from Puerto Rico to New York and Maine on two "Freedom Flights" missions this Saturday.
The brand's Vodka for Dog People program teamed up with a coalition of animal welfare groups to bring 165 dogs and 135 cats from Puerto Rico's overwhelmed animal shelters to families and shelters on the mainland.
Dogs and cats were brought from two cargo planes to Portland, Maine and Whitefield, New York. (Alexandra Lloyd)
Remember when Tito's celebrated its 25th anniversary by inviting all dogs with the "Tito" namesake (and even those without it) to its first "Dogs Named Tito" event in Austin? Part of those funds fueled the two missions, and one cargo plane will include a VIP passenger inspired from that event. Tito, a mixed-breed puppy that was rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico, is the rescue mission's official mascot.
Mixed-breed pup Tito was the rescue mission's designated mascot. (Tito's Handmade Vodka)
In Puerto Rico, many of the pets would have been euthanized, or susceptible to the island's upcoming hurricane season—shelters have up to a 96% euthanasia rate as over 500,000 stray animals roam the streets. Now, sixty of the dogs have already met their forever families at the airport gate, while all other adoptable pets will be spayed or neutered and receive a health certificate.
“Tito’s Handmade Vodka is dedicated to helping our furry friends find safety from both overcrowded shelters and potential storms in Puerto Rico,” Vodka for Dog People Program Manager Beth Pollanti, who boarded the flight with Tito, said.
The brand teamed up with pet transport program Wings of Rescue and Puerto Rican group The Sato Project to bring the pets to Whitefield, New York and Portland, Maine. No local pets were displaced due to the project.
- 7 Austin businesses celebrating International Dog Day - austonia ›
- Tito's Vodka to donate $20 million to boost Longhorn sport facilities ... ›
With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."
Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.
The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.
The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.
While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.
The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.
After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.
With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.
He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.
Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.
Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.
- Elon Musk challenges the Kremlin to a fight on Twitter - austonia ›
- 8 Austin Twitter accounts you should follow - austonia ›
- Elon Musk succeeds in buying Twitter for about $44 billion - austonia ›
- A man near Austin offers land for Elon Musk to move Twitter - austonia ›
- If Elon Musk's deal works out, will Twitter move to Austin? - austonia ›
- Elon Musk says rumors about his travel are a security issue - austonia ›