Mary Beth Melchior is the CEO and Founder of Where is Jack? Inc. Her lifelong love of animals was channeled into the work of making air travel safe for pets when her dear friend’s cat, Jack, was lost in JFK airport by American Airlines. Since this happened in 2011, Mary Beth has worked tirelessly to educate pet parents about the hazards that attend pets and air travel. Her work has been informed by her other two passions: politics and yoga. Her doctorate in American government and political philosophy (University of Maryland, 1998) has allowed Where Is Jack? Inc. to effectively respond to changes in government policy that effect how pet incidents are counted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Her years as a yoga practitioner and teacher have deeply informed the basic philosophy that underpins this work: that all sentient beings, not just humans, deserve to be treated with care and respect. Mary Beth is also deeply involved in animal rescue, and shares her home with three cats, one dog and a horse – and a wonderful man, Alan, to whom she has been married for 28 years.
Bonnie J. Wagner-Westbrook is a volunteer certified Missing Animal Responder (Pet Detective) with the Missing Animal Response Network, and the senior research director and lead searcher for NJ/PA with Where Is Jack, Inc. She is a former board member of the Missing Pet Partnership.
About Where Is Jack? Inc.
Where is Jack? Inc. was created to honor the legacy of Jack, a cat who was lost for 61 days and subsequently died because of errors in handling by American Airlines. We believe that all animals are precious, sentient beings and should therefore be treated with the highest level of care and respect. Animals should not be treated as cargo, luggage, or freight. As such, our mission is to ensure that ALL ANIMALS are treated in accord with these beliefs so that no animal is lost, injured, or killed as a result of engaging in any aspect of commercial air travel.
To that end, we seek to:
- Educate the public nation-wide about the safe practices available for and the dangers of commercial air travel for animals, including ways that animal guardians can minimize these dangers;
- Demand that pet carrier manufacturers create products that will endure the rigors of air travel and the stress induced behavior of animals engaged in air travel;
- Establish and standardize lost animal policies and procedures at all airports in the United States; and
- Create and expand on state and federal legislation in the United States to ensure the safety and well-being of all animals engaged in domestic air travel.
We declare that through our tenacious efforts, what happened to Jack the Cat will never happen to another animal again.