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Out of the Cage! The Blog of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

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Pit Bull mix John has covered a lot of miles in his three short years, recently returning to Las Vegas and a new adoptive home thanks to a microchip and the collaborative efforts of the Mayor's Alliance, Nevada SPCA, AC&C, Pet Airways, and caring volunteers. (Photo by Nevada SPCA)

Pit Bull mix John has covered a lot of miles in his three short years, recently returning to Las Vegas and a new adoptive home thanks to a microchip and the collaborative efforts of the Mayor's Alliance, Nevada SPCA, AC&C, Pet Airways, and caring volunteers.

Photo by Nevada SPCA

Out of the Cage! (September 2010)

John Travels Coast to Coast…to Coast, and Finally Home

Three-year-old John has logged a lot of miles for a young Pit Bull mix, but this week it all paid off when he finally arrived in his new home.

John's odyssey began when a Las Vegas man adopted him from the Nevada SPCA (NSPCA). At some undetermined point, John came east with his owner, to Delaware. Apparently things didn't work out so well, because John's owner gave him away. Only John knows what happened after that (and he's not telling!), but in June of this year, he landed at the Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) shelter in Brooklyn, brought in as a stray by NYPD officers. He quickly was placed into a foster home, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Maggie O'Neill and her New Hope colleagues at AC&C, who went the extra mile to ensure that John would find his way home.

Fortunately, John had been microchipped by NSPCA. Because AC&C staff routinely checks incoming animals for microchips, they easily determined that John had once been at the NSPCA, and contacted them to locate his current owner. They were successful in reaching John's adopter, but disappointed to learn that he had given John away, and the new owner could not be located.

John arrived for his Pet Airways flight to Los Angeles in a Mayor's Alliance Wheels of Hope transport van at Republic Airport on Long Island, accompanied by the Mayor's Alliance's Melissa Donaldson. (Photo by Patrick McGuire)

John arrived for his Pet Airways flight to Los Angeles in a Mayor's Alliance Wheels of Hope transport van at Republic Airport on Long Island, accompanied by the Mayor's Alliance's Melissa Donaldson.

Photo by Patrick McGuire

John's former caretakers at the NSPCA offered to take John back, but they didn't have the means to transport him across the country. So AC&C asked the Mayor's Alliance for help.

The Alliance's Melissa Donaldson, Coordinator of Veterinary Care and APO Oversight, began exploring options for transporting John to Las Vegas. She contacted Continental Airlines (the airline that flew Bailey, a Golden Retriever from AC&C, to Colorado earlier this year to join her new adopter, Olympic gold medalist Steve Holcomb), but Continental no longer flies Pit Bulls or Pit mixes. Next she tried Pilots N Paws, but they couldn't help because the transport was too far for their short-hop capacity. Then she called Pet Airways. Although Pet Airways doesn't fly to Las Vegas, they do fly to Los Angeles. Close enough.

Melissa notified the NSPCA that she could arrange to fly John on Pet Airways from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Long Island, to LA's John Northop/Hawthorne Executive Airport. NSPCA arranged for a foster person to meet John at the LA airport and care for him until a transport could be arranged to get him back to Las Vegas.

Finally home! John is enjoying getting acquainted with his new family — mom Jenny, dad Dennis, and sister Pit Bull Indy. (Photo by Nevada SPCA)

Finally home! John is enjoying getting acquainted with his new family — mom Jenny, dad Dennis, and sister Pit Bull Indy.

Photo by Nevada SPCA

Once back at the NSPCA, John patiently dreamed of the final phase of his journey that would make it complete: a permanent home. That dream came true this past Saturday when John was adopted by a couple who, earlier this year, had adopted another Pit Bull from NSPCA. So now John not only has a new home, he has a new sister, too! According to staffers at the NSPCA, they actually kissed when they first met!

John's amazing journey to his new home was successful because of the collaborative efforts of a cast of concerned characters on two coasts who recognized his value and believed that his future was well worth the effort. The Mayor's Alliance is delighted to have been a part of this extraordinary effort!