Southwest Flight Attendant Flies Adopted Puppy 2000 Miles


At the end of July, a Southwest flight attendant named Marcel Stratten flew 2,000 miles across the US, changing flights three times. While this might not sound like news, it was Marcel’s day off. She made the journey from El Paso, Texas, to deliver a puppy, found by the side of the road a couple of weeks earlier, to his forever home in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Southwest 737
One of Southwest’s flight attendants flew 2,000 miles on her day off to accompany a rescue puppy to his new home. Photo: Getty Images

Puppy Harris found by the road in the heat

Sometimes, you are waiting to find that special someone – your new puppy, that is. And then when you finally do, they’re halfway across the country. There are thousands of stray dogs and cats all over the world in need of a home.

When there are humans that want to provide them one but do not have the ability to travel, this becomes a problem. It means a willing volunteer is needed to accompany the four-legged friend on their journey, as puppies are not allowed to fly unattended.

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This time, the good samaritan was a Southwest Airlines flight attendant. Marcel Stratten flew 2,000 miles on her days off to escort a rescue puppy to his new family. Ultimately, the temporary duo took three Southwest flights to reach Raleigh, North Carolina, from El Paso, Texas.

Southwest Dallas
The two had to change flights three times. Photo: Getty Images

The puppy in question was one of two found in a box by the side of the road in the scorching Texas heat a few weeks back. Luckily, they were taken in by the Animal Rescue League of El Paso. The shelter proceeded to post photos of the puppies on its Facebook page.


Second ARL alumni for NC couple

A North Carolina couple, whose beloved dog named Hayes – also adopted from the Animal Rescue League – had passed away last year, saw the photos. They immediately fell in love and named the puppy Harris. However, they had no way of coming to retrieve him.

“I was available to come to El Paso to pick up the puppy and then one of our amazing employees purchased me a ticket from El Paso to Raleigh because the flights filled up and there was a chance that I wasn’t going to get on,” Texas-based Stratton told KTSM.


Harris and Marcel touched down in Phoenix where they quickly made friends with the crew @SouthwestAirlines. After a…

Publisert av Animal Rescue League of El Paso Onsdag 29. juli 2020

A night at the Wyndham

Harris and Stratton spent a night at the Wyndham hotel, before changing flights three times to get to his new humans waiting in Raleigh.

“The woman at the hotel, Debbie, loves dogs, so she comped my room and made sure I got a room with a little balcony so Harris could go out,” Stratten said of the stay.

The adorable little guy made some new friends along the way, including a couple of the airline’s pilots. 

Harris and Marcel have made it to Chicago! He was the perfect little passenger @SouthwestAirlines! Harris has melted 💙's…

Publisert av Animal Rescue League of El Paso Onsdag 29. juli 2020

“Everyone needed to see a little kindness and this puppy brought so much love. The two pilots I had, they took him for a walk in the airport and all the passengers on the plane were just wanting to see him,” said Stratten.

Southwest Airlines, April Load Factor, Industry Recovery
Everyone at Southwest seems to have fallen for the little guy. Photo: Southwest Airlines

The shorter journey home

A local El Paso family adopted the other puppy, who was found alongside Harris. While the journey home might not be as newsworthy a one for a wider audience, for that little dog and its new family, it is most certainly life-changing.

Harris himself arrived safe and sound into the arms of his new family.

Harris's journey is complete! 💙We truly are grateful to our village for everything that was done to get Harris to his…

Publisert av Animal Rescue League of El Paso Onsdag 29. juli 2020

Have you flown with your pet recently? Have you adopted a dog or a cat from a shelter? Let us know in the comments.