NEW ORLEANS – A Yorkie named Sam earned a first class flight from Iowa to his home in New Orleans four years and 944 miles after he went missing. After Sam was found in a playground in Cedar Rapids, his owners were tracked down using a microchip on him, reports WGNO.
“When we picked him up he did have a very severe skin allergy and his teeth were in very poor condition,” says Michelle Johnson from Animal Care and Control in Cedar Rapids. "The vet had to pull 10 of his teeth, and nine were already missing."
But he did have one thing that ultimately led to his reunion, a microchip. That’s how they were able to locate the Lambert family all the way in Bridge City, Louisiana, to give them the news.
“All those years I thought I would never see him again, and here I am with my dog back home,” says Karissa Lambert. "I’m really happy about it"
Sam was Karissa's birthday present on her fourth birthday, so she was devastated when he escaped through a hole in the family's fence.
Sam's return started a chain of involvement to get him returned to his family, from the animal control people who found him in Cedar Rapids to United Airlines.
“We didn’t think twice, we knew right away we had to help and it’s been a great day,” says Charlie Hobart of United Airlines.
“It’s crazy because I flew many times, and I’ve never flown first class,” says Karissa's Thomas Lambert.
Finally, Sam has a warm bed in a safe home with a loving family and one heck of a story to tell. If he could.
“I bet you it would be a very interesting story, I wish he could tell us,” says Thomas Lambert.
“Every time I see a Yorkie, I always thought it was him, and now it is him, I can’t believe it,” says Karissa Lambert.