Fort Lauderdale's Four-Legged First-Class Travelers

At Pet Airways, man's best friend flies first class -- even the ones who are homeless. The exclusive airline played a central role in the "Pup My Ride" rescue mission over the Thanksgiving holiday, transporting more than 50 dogs from parts of the country inundated with homeless and unwanted pets to areas with fewer animal control issues. The jet-setting puppy-mill pups made the comfortable and accommodating trek from the Midwest to Long Island, possibly ready for adoption this week, just in time for Christmas.

"The mission was a phenomenal success," says Alysa Binder, the Delray Beach resident who founded Pet Airways. "We want to avoid euthanasia and save as many animals as possible, especially during the holidays."

Right now, Pet Airways offers five stops:

New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles, with fares beginning at about $99 each way. Soon South Florida pets can get in on the action -- starting December 22, the airline will add a stop in our very own Fort Lauderdale.

"Demographically, Fort Lauderdale is the perfect place to offer flights," Binder says. "It's convenient for Palm Beach, Miami, and even Fort Myers residents."

The pet-friendly flights run up and down the East Coast once a week, and once across the country. Secure your pet's seat fast, 'cause the 50-"pawsenger" planes are filling up fast.

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