When I heard about events in Paris my thoughts turned to a Chihuahua from Macon and the French animal rescue there that welcomed him with open arms and found him a new home.

Josephine Bennett taking Michelangelo out of the shelter

Michelangelo was picked up as a stray and taken to Macon Bibb Animal Welfare. After seven days he would be available for adoption or rescue. As it turns out he had an owner and they showed up after a few days to pick him up. Problem solved, or so I thought.

Michelangelo visiting GPB Macon office

A few days later he was picked up again roaming the streets and his owners decided to leave him at the shelter. He was then moved to the SAFE Adoption Center adjacent to Macon Bibb Animal Welfare. Months earlier I had connected with a rescue, based in France called, USA Dogs Bless You. They take small dogs from the Southeast and fly them to France where they are quickly adopted. Due to tough laws including mandatory microchipping, the country has few strays and small dogs almost never wind up in shelters.

Michelangelo arriving at his Atlanta foster home

The rescue takes mostly Chihuahua’s, a breed commonly found in shelters and finds them wonderful homes. They stay in foster homes in Atlanta and after they’ve been spayed or neutered, received vaccinations and microchips they get their certificates from the USDA to head across the ocean to new homes in Europe. Volunteers from Air France accompany them on their journey. Without countless volunteers this could never happen.

Michelangelo arriving in Paris (photo courtesy USA Dogs Bless You)

Michelangelo riding the Paris Metro before heading to his new home in Switzerland

Michelangelo spent several weeks with a foster in Atlanta and then in New York. He decompressed from the shelter and spent time playing with other dogs. When he left last month he flew directly to Paris. Around a week later he joined his forever family, a young couple living in Switzerland. He is loved, cared for and a treasured family member.

Michelangelo now known as Mickey enjoying a beautiful day at his new home in Switzerland (photo courtesy Mickey's new mom Victoria)

One of the most rewarding things about volunteering in animal rescue is seeing these animals in their forever homes. When I think about Michelangelo’s old life here in Macon versus his new one in Switzerland I can’t help but smile. What a miracle! Thank you to USA Dogs Bless You and the people of France who welcome homeless and unwanted animals from Georgia. We are very grateful and we are thinking about you.

Mickey in the arms of his new mom (photo courtesy Mickey's new mom Victoria)