gtk-swa-open-armsGiving dogs a new start at a happy life

Southwest Airlines has always been devoted to each and every community that we serve. Our Employees, Customers and neighbors make the Southwest Family the LUVing place that it is, and we are proud to offer our cities more than just friendly and affordable air service. We offer our hearts to our Customers and the communities we serve! Thousands of times each year, Southwest Airlines and our Employees reach out to individuals, families and entire communities providing help where it is needed. Most donations are invisible–except to the people they affect, and sometimes invisible except for the animals they affect. It is all part of the relationship that Southwest Airlines creates that positively impacts the communities we serve.

Open Arms Rescue – Giving dogs a new start at a happy life

Open Arms Rescue is a non-profit dog rescue focusing on dogs in high kill shelters across Southern California that are in need of medical attention or have run out of time and would otherwise be put to sleep. They strive to keep these loving pets alive.

They also focus on Mexico where the number of suffering dogs is frightening. These dogs are typically starving and they provide medical treatment and then place them into foster homes. Being located close to the Mexican border, they travel to Baja at least three times a month on rescue missions.

Their Mission:

You can’t change the world by helping one animal, but you can change the world for that animal.

Our mission is to rescue dogs in need and to find loving homes for these misplaced, mistreated, stray and unwanted pets.

How People Can Help

Without the faithful work of their volunteers, their organization would not be possible. They do not receive any government funding and depend on donations and fund-raisers. They depend heavily on caring volunteers to foster these unfortunate animals and to bring them into their homes. If they do not have a home in which to put the dogs, they cannot rescue them to begin with.

They welcome any volunteer help for fostering dogs in their homes, transporting dogs to and from events as well as any financial donations or donation of dog/rescue supplies.


The Story of Saiorse

Saiorse (Seer Sha) means “Freedom” in Irish

Saiorse was rescued in Ensenada on one of their volunteer rescue missions.

She had spent most her life tied up outside without shelter food or water. She was starving, barely alive, literally just a shell of skin and bones hanging on for life. All of the skin around her nose and face had peeled off in the searing sun. Covered with sores and scabs her pain was traumatic. The chain on her neck weighed over 2 pounds.

Open Arms found out about it and pursued the owner until we were finally allowed to free her.

Saiorse had fought hard to stay alive but because of the prolonged abuse and starvation, her weak broken body began to fail her. Unable to eat, she was fed via IV drip until her body could manage solid food.

Because of Open Arms Rescue, Saiorse’s life has completely turned around. She is now on a special diet and has regular vet checkups. She is showered with love and encouragement and has made an amazing recovery. Her body & spirit are on the road to recovery, leaving the horrific life she once knew far behind.

Having just discovered what cuddles and belly scratches are she can’t get enough! Saiorse is quite the social Butterfly at all of our events!

This is why this very special dog is now called Saiorse “Freedom”


Lidia S. Martinez
Manager, Community Affairs & Grassroots
Southwest Airlines

Lidia S. Martinez 2014