This past spring, Marine Corporal Brady found himself falling hard for the fluffball puppy he named Marshmallow. He had no idea that COVID-19 would keep them both on their military base in the Republic of Georgia for months to come.
Finally, after months of waiting, flights started operating again. Luckily, Marshmallow was able to fly out of the Republic of Georgia on the same commercial flight as Corporal Brady. This was excellent because it meant Corporal Brady and Marshmallow could stay together until their travel date. There was only one catch – the military prohibits adopted pets from being added to service members’ tickets.
One of SPCA International’s dedicated flight volunteers, Lucas, offered to take the trip with Marshmallow. Since he was flying out in under 24 hours, Lucas was able to fly into the Republic of Georgia with a quarantine exemption.
After Lucas arrived at the airport, things started to go sideways. Lucas was asked to step into a room while his paperwork was processed. He had planned to spend one night at a hotel near the airport, but he was forgotten in the empty room at the airport for nearly 14 hours.
Meanwhile, Corporal Brady brought Marshmallow to the airport to meet up with Lucas, but Marshmallow’s crate was denied. The airport staff were requiring that animal crates have plastic screws, which the Corporal didn’t have.
Our U.S. team spent hours on the phone searching for solutions while Corporal Brady asked every airline counter for help. Finally, the Corporal had to go through customs, he was about to miss his flight. Heartbroken, he said goodbye to Marshmallow, thinking a fellow Marine would need to come get her and take her back to base.
Just as he cleared customs, Corporal Brady got a call from the SPCA International team. They had secured approval for Marshmallow’s crate. The Corporal tells us he burst into tears out of pure relief. Even though he had to travel on to finish up his deployment outside his home state, he knew Lucas would safely deliver Marshmallow to his home.
Now, Marshmallow and Corporal Brady are happily together in New York. When asked what he would tell people about SPCAI, the Corporal said, “Anything to keep this organization and selfless people going would make me happiest. I can’t thank them enough even now months later.”
Thanks to everyone in the SPCA International community who made Marshmallow’s rescue possible!