Pitbull from hurricane zone finds home in Capital Region

December 29, 2017 05:32 AM

SCHENECTADY - A pitbull puppy is now living in the Capital Region after making a friend in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Staff Sgt. John Cox of the 109th Airlift Wing was helping deliver food and water to people who needed it and couldn't leave the puppy behind.

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The pitbull, now named Maria, plays with Cox's other dog.

“I remember specifically coming across the building where Maria happened to be and she was by herself and kind of not joining the pack mentality and I could tell she was either previously owned by somebody or domesticated in some sense,” Cox said.

But Cox had other work to do.

“Our primary action was to download large grade aircraft with food and water for the people of Puerto Rico,” he said.

Cox and his team filled pickup trucks and delivered the necessities.

“It really was a mess,” Cox said. “Puerto Rico needed help and they still need help. It's gonna take a couple of years for them to get up and running again.”

As much as he was thinking about the people, he couldn't get the dog out of his mind.

“She was very thin, you could see where her ribs were exposed and her hip bones were sticking out,” Cox said. “And she was close to what I imagine would be the end of her life.”

After giving her food and water day after day, Maria wouldn't leave his side. Cox met Maria four days into his 47-day stay.

Military rules prevent bringing animals back home, so he reached out to Out of the Pits, who worked with Stray from the Heart and they were able to get Maria on a FedEx plane to the Capital Region.

“I was really reaching a critical point where I had to find a way to get her home or I would have to leave her behind when it was time to go and that wasn't really an option,” Cox said.

WEB EXTRA: Naming the dog


WNYT Staff

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