Captain love changes everything

Captain is Headin’ Home

The Petco Foundation believes ‘Love Changes Everything’, and we couldn’t agree more. And for Captain, love truly did change his life.

It all started with our awesome life saving rescue partners, San Antonio Pets Alive! When Captain arrived in their care, he had heartworm and an abdominal mass. After seven months in their care, the team at San Antonio Pets Alive knew that Captain would be a great candidate for Headin’ Home, their rescue dog transport program.  Headin’ Home transports dogs to rescue partners in northern states where there is a short supply of adoptable rescue dogs. Unfortunately Texas, like many states, have animal shelters that are entirely full of adoptable animals and not enough homes.

Dog Is My CoPilot Helps Captain head home

Thanks to our amazing partnership with San Antonio Pets Alive, Petco Foundation and our receiving partner organizations; we flew a plane full of dogs to rescue partners in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Captain was one of the 38 passengers on this flight.  Be sure to watch the video below of the live footage of his rescue flight!

This trip was made possible through the tireless work of San Antonio Pets Alive! and the amazing partnership between Petco Foundation and Dog Is My CoPilot. We are thrilled to be recognized by the Petco Foundation for our lifesaving work!  A $250,000 investment will help us continue to fly homeless pets to safety! We are very grateful to the Petco Foundation for their dedication and financial support to help make life saving transport flights with Dog Is My CoPilot possible!

It was only a few days after landing with Paws for Life Utah in Salt Lake City Utah that Captain caught the eye of his future moms!

After losing two dogs in recent months, Sherry and Cindy were apprehensive about bringing in another dog to their lives without projecting their sadness on this new four legged friend.  Although it took Captain a little while to get used to his new surroundings, he has found his tribe and a safe place. Captain has found his own space on the couch, is eating (many) treats, and has even started to regrow some whiskers! Finally in true Captain form, he has found his rightful place in shotgun while riding in the car. “It’s appropriate that he’s named Captain, he’s our hero,” said Sherry about their new family member!

A special message from Sherry and Cindy

When Captain got our attention on social media, it was his eyes that hooked both of us, but it was his name that made it clear he was destined to come to us — I’m a die-hard Marvel fan, having renamed our last rescue Bucky — there’s no question this was meant to be.

Bringing Captain home was an emotional decision after losing two dogs between June and September to old-age and cancer respectively. We didn’t want to have unreasonable expectations. Even if we were bringing him in to fill a “brother shaped” hole for our surviving pit bull, Bucky, he wasn’t there to replace them. I was concerned about projecting undue expectations on him, but that was an unfounded worry.

Cap was understandably aloof when he first came home, he took to the space, the application of treats, bones, and a schedule before he committed to any of us. It wasn’t long, though, before he stopped laying so far across the room from us.

The best times are when Cap chooses to snuggle up to Bucky, or to Cindy, or to me, sometimes all at once on the sofa like he is right now. It’s heartwarming to watch him settle into his personality and seeing his fur growing back after his flea infestation and his tumor removal surgery (back when he was being cared for by SAPA). He has little baby whiskers! Those were either missing or as short as his fur when we brought him home. Now they’re about an inch long! His elbows are still naked and leathery looking, but the crusted calluses are now soft skin. The fur on his tail is still a hot mess, but tiny tufts have been spotted!

Cap is the clown in our family.

It took little time at all to fall head over heels for him, he’s become so much a part of us that I almost can’t remember what it was like when there was no Captain snoring in the night like a buzzsaw. Unlike human snoring, this little gas machine has the most soothing snores. If he’s asleep and not snoring I often think I should check to see if he’s breathing!

His consistent, loving nature have helped bolster our moods, soften our losses, and has given Bucky a brother again. Bucky’s even started riding shotgun alongside Cap, a place in the car he just never had a desire to inhabit. It’s appropriate that he’s named Captain, he’s our hero.


Sherry and Cindy


We are all in this together, let’s help shelter animals today!

We hope that by sharing this story of love during a time of crisis, others will be inspired to help shelter animals just like Captain.  Animal shelters across our nation are making the hard decision to close their doors to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s work together to ensure animals in shelters across our nation are safe.   Now is the time to help our shelters—adopt or foster a pet.  Find a shelter or rescue near you: petcofoundaiton.org/shetler


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