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Dog found lost in Santa Maria returned to home approximately 400 miles away

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Posted at 2:08 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 22:58:54-04

Gorda, a female chihuahua, was brought into the Santa Maria Animal Shelter at the beginning of April.

Employees at the shelter said when they checked to see if Gorda was microchipped they found her registration at a shelter in Las Vegas.

Organizers with The Santa Barbara County Animal Services did some research and were able to find and reach out to the owner in Las Vegas.

"Having this out-of-state connection and the owner looking for her is super rare and really exciting," said Santa Barbara County Animal Services Outreach Coordinator, Michele Maltun.

The owner said they were not able to come and make the trip to Santa Maria to pick up Gorda, so the Santa Maria shelter reached out to Pilots 'N' Paws.

Pilots 'N' Paws is a volunteer organization intended to provide services of rescuing, sheltering, and adopting animals, with volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist in animal transportation.

Shelter organizers were able to find a volunteer, Wilhelm Percival, who agreed to fly Gorda from Santa Maria back to her owner in Las Vegas.

"First of all I love this whole thing with the dogs, it gives me something to really look forward to when I'm flying and today this is a special thing cause we're able to return this dog to its owner almost after a year," said Percival.

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Gorda prepares for personal flight to Las Vegas

It is unknown how Gorda made her way all the way to Santa Maria.

To find out about animals up for adoption within the Santa Barbara County Animal Services, visit this website.