Where is Jack?

Making Air Travel Safe for Pets

Who Is Jack the Cat?


  • **Adopted as a 2-year-old by Karen Pascoe at NYC Animal Care & Control (Manhattan shelter)
  • **Lived happily in NYC for 3 years with mom and adopted brother Barry
  • **Mom got a great job offer in California
  • **She booked her flight to move, and found out both Jack and Barry were too big to travel under the seat
  • **Jack attempted to fly in cargo via American Airlines 8/25/11
  • **Before he even boarded the plane, his crate was dropped and he got out
  • **AA baggage informed Karen what had happened, but urged her to get on the plane anyway
  • **They did not contact her again for 66 hours
  • **Jack was missing until 10/25/11, when he fell through the ceiling tile in the Terminal 8 Customs and Border Patrol Office
  • **He received intensive treatment for wounds and the effects of malnutrition
  • **On 11/6/11, Jack succumbed to the effects of two months of malnutrition

RIP, good friend…


We have created a non-profit organization:



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.

75 thoughts on “Who Is Jack the Cat?

  1. Keeping Jack’s memory alive…

  2. I can’t look into those eyes without Balling my eyes out, this poor thing indured SO much suffering at the HANDS of Humans~! God bless him!

  3. I’ve been following your story since it began, here is what happened when we flew with our boys, Frankie & Oscar. My husband was in the military at the time and we lived in CA, we were being transferred to Naples, Italy. We flew United to Norfolk, VA, because there were two of us, each cat flew with us in the passenger area in a soft carrier. Once in Norfolk, VA because it was a military flight we had no choice but to fly the boys in cargo with the hard carriers. We gave each a happy pill (to reduce the anxiety as both were anxious boys), for the flight and bought cozies to put in each carrier to help keep them warm and so they could hide a little. I also put my husbands name, rank and our new address in permanent marker on each carrier along with the name of the cat. I still refer to this leg of the flight as the “flight from hell” because of the route and length it took – Norfolk, VA to Azores, Azores to Moron, Spain, Moron, Spain to Rota, Spain, Rota, Spain to Naples, Italy. It was a grueling 18 hour flight, extra long due to fog in Rota, Spain, needless to say the boys arrived safe and sound. Fast forward three years and we once again had to fly back via military and the boys were put in cargo again. This time though the flight was direct from Naples, Italy to Norfolk, VA, an 8 hour flight non stop. The boys once again received happy pills and had their cozies in the carriers for the flight. I watched them like a hawk, even to the point of being loaded onto the plane. We all arrived safe and sound in Norfolk, VA 8 hours later, that was back in 2005.

    I had to fight my vet on giving them happy pills, but I know my boys and they freak out just in the car and this was the best way to get them to relax to what was happening around them. I would now secure the carriers with something more secure knowing what I know now about how cheap they are put together. My point in saying all this is that I would prefer the boys to fly with me in the passenger area, but sometimes this is just not possible especially when moving overseas. We did what we had to do to get our boys with us, and despite the flight from hell they made it safe and sound. To this day though they hate loud noises, especially planes, but then again neither do I!

  4. Great start, Mary Beth! The image chosen just breaks my heart…

  5. Let Jack’s ordeal not be in vain. Book mark this site and remain active. It takes a great deal of effort and support to reach the correct people to make “Jack the Cat Law” a reality.

    • “Jack the Cat Law” has a ring to it….. i hope it will become reality…. our furbabies are worth that…..AND MORE.

  6. So very, very sorry for your loss…..so heartbreaking and such a beautiful boy…..RIP pretty boy…..

  7. Jack
    You are loved so very much.

  8. I will always love you Jack. I am so sorry you and your famliy had to go through all of this. I will continue to help animals the rest of my life. And when my time on this earth is over I look forward to meeting you in person.
    Rebecca P.

  9. Any one out there who hasn’t yet signed the petition to put Jacks Law on the books., please take the time to make Jacks passing not in vain. He gave his life so others will no longer suffer. In jacks memory we need to keep the fight for animal care going. RIP JACK

    • Hello,
      Could you please share where the petition is located and more information on “Jack’s Law”? I would be interested in reading/signing it, but am not familiar. Thanks!!!

    • signed and posted several places. Let’s get these pets better travelling conditions.

  10. A beautiful start to keeping Jack’s spirit alive & helping other pets.

  11. It would be wonderful is some good could come from this tragic story. I will be following your efforts. I have already signed the petition.

  12. Mary Beth, thanks for putting Jack’s story in the public domain. As a person who’s had quite a few feline friends, some my home companions, some the live-in pals of family and human friends, they always amaze and delight me, and when they go, they take part of me with them. They have all been unique and every one is memorable.

    Which is why Jack’s story struck me, and why I support the effort you’ve started. When we have to make arrangements for our fur friends to travel, we want the carriers to spare no effort to bring them safely home. We have to make them do better.

    Also, if I were not myself blessed with the world’s best sister, I would nominate you. 😀

  13. I have followed Jack’s story since August 31st. It struck a chord in me. I sobbed like a baby when I read the news of his passing. This “cause” MUST bring about the changes needed in establishing safety measures for all pets’ airline transportation. One of my favorite quotes is “The innocence of animals sometimes distracts us from the ugliness of humans”. Author unknown. A great deal of human ugliness has been portrayed throughout this tragedy. The almighty dollar took precedence over the life of this innocent being. May it NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

  14. i have followed Jack’s story from the beginning, the shock when I heard of him escaping on JFK…the anxiety during his long absence and then the joy I felt when he was back! It broke my heart when he passed, the decision to let a loved one be allowed to pass is by far the most terrible decision one can take. I had to do the same thing last summer when my cat went over the Bridge, i was 40km away, I had to decide to let him go over the phone! Karen and Mary Beth, my thoughts are with you and I will certainly follow this site and help the way I can to prevent something like this should ever happen again!. Jack was a beautiful cat, a Norwegian Forest cat with that color is wonderful! I now have a wegie, she is 18 months and a beauty. Hugs from Sweden

  15. We will help keep things going. Our furry friends deserve the best.

  16. Keep dear Jack’s memory alive and get the laws changed for Furry child air travel.

  17. There is nothing we can say to ease Karen and Barry’s pain, but know we all wish with all our hearts that there were something we could do or say. Our prayers are with you both, and of course with Jack, as is our support of the campaign to change the airline industry’s rule and regulations in his name. Let us know what we can do to support the cause!

  18. God bless you, little guy, and your family. I’m heart broken at your pain and loss but take comfort in the fact that you will be with your family again some day.

  19. Jack, what a beautiful, sweet kitty. It is heartbreaking what happened to you. I will fight too to ensure this will never happen to another animal again.

  20. Love the page Mary Beth.

  21. Congratulations on the start of what looks like it will be a fabulous website, most particularly to have mobilised yourselves so quickly in the face of your grief. Despite the miles between our home in the UK and Jack’s family in the US, we have been deeply moved by Jack’s plight and find ourselves grieving this week like Jack was one of our own. For however long it takes, Jack’s campaign (s) will have our support, he will forever have a place in our hearts. Sue & Mike Hatcher & (Rescued Ragdolls) Billy & Jameson xxxx (Tiffy’s Page)

  22. So sweet of you to post this photo and news story. We as cat lovers must unite and love each other and all other cats and stay close in thoughts. Donna from Chattanooga TN. There are so many questions we don’t have answers to and never will probably. That is what is so hard to take.

  23. I have been following this story for 2 1/2 months now; I was elated to hear Jack had been found (because I hate it when they just plain disappear), and crushed when I found out he had been put to sleep. If he hadn’t been starving for 2 months, perhaps he would have had enough health to survive his ordeal.

    Something good must come out of this. He’s a perfect spokescat for the cause, and I sincerely hope we can get our animals better travelling conditions.

  24. God bless you Karen Pascoe, I know you must miss your beautiful boy Jack. My prayers go out to you and your family. Because of Jack everyday I give my girls extra hugs and kisses. Even though they look at me crazy…

    Plz all of us need to keep the pressure on in memory of our beloved “Jack the Cat”.

  25. Beautiful website for a gorgeous cat. I so wish this story had had the happy ending we all hoped and prayed for. I look forward to working with fellow animal lovers to making air travel safer for our furry friends. RIP Jack.

  26. I’ve been following Jack’s story since about Labor Day weekend and overjoyed when he finally showed his furry little face via the ceiling tile crash. I didn’t think he would ever be found. My heart just broke for him when he crossed the rainbow bridge. He suffers no more, but will be missed by everyone who followed his story, and missed by his special family. I’m going to support efforts to change the “animals in cargo” policies in place with the airlines with the hope that nothing like Jack’s situation ever happens again!!

  27. I was out of town when I read the tragic post, “It is with tears…” Oh, how I cried. And still do. The suffering he endured, trapped in the ceiling at JFK, constantly on my mind. Reflecting back to when I spent hours searching inside JFK in early September and he was so close. And unattainable. Fast forward. So I was out of town when I learned of Jack’s passing, away from my own kitties. In the last day that I have been reunited with them, as I love and care for them, I am reminded of what poor Jack did not receive in those two months. This thought still awakens me most nights. Thank God you are in a better place now, dear Jack.

  28. It’s been one week today. Thinking of you Mary Beth and Karen and Barry and Millie.

  29. Just one week passed since your death made a huge hole in my heart. It looks like Eternity! The wound of loss is still fresh and I keep asking WHY and HOW you could conquer my soul and heart, you, one little boy, one brave sunny hero, martyr, pure and saint boy in fur….WHO ARE YOU JACK???? I think this mystery will stay unsolved forever. The only thing I know that you turned the world towards people, made us think and be more compassionate with challenge to change the world for better. You touched the world and it makes me adore you more and miss you dearly, little orange peacemaker! Now your turn to rest in Paradise and watch us from above. Jack I do love you and terribly miss you…All my love and support go to Karen and Mary Beth….

  30. Dear Jack, I can not believe you are gone! I will always love you! Good night sweet prince!


    I stood by your bed last night; I came to have a peep.
    I could see that you were crying you found it hard to sleep.
    I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
    “It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”
    I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
    You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
    I was with you at the shops today; your arms were getting sore.
    I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
    I was with you at my grave today; you tend it with such care.
    I want to re-assure you, that I’m not lying there.
    I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
    I gently put my paw on you; I smiled and said, “it’s me.”
    You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
    I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
    It’s possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
    To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”
    You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…
    in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
    The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning
    and say “good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”
    And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
    I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.
    I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
    Be patient, live your journey out…then come home to be with me.

    • This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read!! I printed it!! THANK YOU!!

    • Oh my god, you’ve got me crying my eyes out! Especially because after Sabrina was gone I swear I felt her get up onto the bed and lie down one night. Thank you for putting words to my hope so eloquently.

  32. God bless you, little Jack. You will see your Mommy Karen and Brother Barry soon at the ‘Rainbow Bridge’. In the mean time, rest in peace…little sweetheart…rest in peace.

  33. Jack your spirit is forever with us as we journey to makes changes so that this never happens again. For every step that we take there
    is a pawprint beside.

  34. Count me in.

  35. It does so break my heart to see beautiful Jack here and then what happened to him. He should have lived a long and happy life with Karen and his brother Barry. Someone said we are crazy for caring about a cat we never met….well since when do you have to meet and personally know everyone to have compassion and empathy for them??? We will never forget Jack or any other innocent animal who needs or help!

  36. Charlene – Thank you so much for starting this page. Your package is going out UPS. Please let me know when it arrives. I am in NC. Sent you a message yesterday not sure if you got it after you provided your address to ship to. Praying for you♥

  37. R.I.P. Jack…you are an inspiration to many!

  38. Think about you every day sweet boy.

  39. RIP sweet Jack. I have signed up to help create Jack’s law, so no other animal will suffer the way you did.

  40. I love you Jack. You are forever in my heart sweet boy. Don’t worry Jack, your death was not in vain, changes will happen.

  41. I just started crying again looking at this photo. I signed the petitions from Change.org. They have made a lot of changes happen in other ventures they are involved in. I am hoping they can make this happen. Jack is beautiful. I am so sorry it ended the way it did.

  42. We will NEVER forget you Jack. So many people have come to LOVE you!
    You’ll always be on our minds and in our hearts. We’ll all see you again some day, sweet boy!


  43. Poor, beautiful, darling Jack – I so wish you didn’t have to endure what you did. RIP. So much love to you Jack, and to MB, Karen, Barry, and the rest of your family. It feels wierd to say ‘I love you Jack’ to someone I never even met but I truly do.

  44. Thank you for sharing Jack with us. So many can imagine how devastated they would feel if this happened to a member of their own family. We agree changes are sorely needed.

  45. I cried tears of joy when the Creator revealed Jack to us; I sobbed like a baby when I read that he’d been sent to the Bridge. Each night, I pray that the Lord will comfort Karen, if any comfort is to be found. For me, there wouldn’t be. Jack has no memory of his ordeal; he knows only happiness and Love now – and knows that Karen will one day join him. I signed the petitions at change.org; something *must* be done so that this horrific tragedy is never, ever repeated.

  46. I never could have thought that I would cry so much for someone that I never met. I cried most nites that Jack was missing, praying for his safe keeping and that he would be found. I cried so much when he was found and wanted to shout out to everyone I know. Then when the most horrible news came that Sunday, like so many others I sobbed uncontrollably, for a long, long time. The tears still come of course, and I suspect they always will. Our pain comes from thinking about that sweet boy lost, scared, confused, all at the hands of people who just didn’t care. How could they treat Karen’s boy without the love and care that he deserved, without the care that she trusted them with. There is no excuse for how he was handled, and had they taken care of him from the beginning he would be happy in his new home now. That is what I will never get over.
    We look at his pictures and cry, they had him in their care, and they just didn’t care.

    His pictures are all beautiful, I still just stare at them and think about what should have been. My favorite is him in the drier, you can just completely see the love in that face.
    I will wear his t-shirt, I will never forget. We will never forget. I signed the petition for Jack’s Law, and will never stop supporting the effort to prevent this tragedy from happening again.
    In our hearts Jack, always.

  47. I just received my tote-bag with Jack’s face on it, already people are asking me “what is wrong with the cat on your bag” hence, education of Jack starts a discussion ( we need to educate people) I have now decided to buy my family and friends Jacks tote bag as a Christmas gift, I am Buddist but I thought I would use this opportunity to get Jacks unfortunate situation ‘out-there’.

  48. I just received my Jack the Cat tote bag, several people have already commented on it, some had heard about his story. I decided to order more totes and give them away as gifts….I live on the west coast but am interested in how to help with the “jack the cat law”, please notify me of anything I can do, and Karen I have cried many times for Jack…we won’t forget him even in LA

  49. I would seriously consider starting a petition on change.org- it is a website that allows us to petition for or against government and also corporations alike.

  50. just heard about precious Jack, petition now closed. what else can i do?

  51. Poor Jack! I never realized that he had been found and passed away. Im so sorry for him and his people family, he was such a beautiful baby. I signed the petition and I hope it makes a difference for all the precious babies out there so that no one else has to go through this… RIP Jack…

  52. This is a great example of why I do not support animals traveling – unless they can be carry on. I am so sorry for the loss of your baby.

    • Jack wasn’t really “traveling”. He and his owner were moving from New York to California.

    • I agree but, why should you have to pay an extra fee for that pet when you can have a kid in your lap or even small bags at your feet?

  53. ..Jack will forever be in our hearts; let him always be an inspiration to stand up for our animals! RIP sweet boy…

  54. And this story of Jack brings up another question. I have locked my luggage and they (the airlines) have cut off my locks even zip ties, what makes me think of this is some people do that to there pets so they can’t get out for just such a reason, so was Jacks cage locked? or did someone cut the lock off? or was it just someone that just didn’t care of the welfare of the animal? I know I bring up some good points to people that fly with there pets(kids).

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  57. This story is heart breaking. I am so upset, it is hard to breathe. I am so sorry this happened to Jack and his mom. Rest in peace sweet Jack.


  59. I followed his story and fell in love with his looks. Since then I bought a Maine Coon cat because I wanted to have a cat similar to Jack. So Jack has touched so many hearts. I also bought his tote bag and proudly use it. So RIP

  60. Here’s a thought – BAN AIR TRAVEL FOR PETS – PERIOD. Everyone on this site seems to forget a) there are people with allergies to pets so why should they suffer for someone to put animals in the main cabin; b) that SOMEONE, namely the REST OF US, are paying for these asinine animal searches, the “legislation” you’re so keen on, etc. It’s as though Elves somehow pay for all of this nonsense. Ban air travel for pets, it’s mean to put them through this and mean to assume everyone else loves your dog, cat, ferret, whatever. Somewhere in the last 10 years everyone has lost their mind having pets on planes, in restaurants, and for gods sake in Hospitals! We need a GET REAL website. If you love animals stop the madness!

    • Mr. Smith – thank you so much for your input. I actually don’t disagree with you, but here’s some things you may not have thought about:
      1. Pets travel by air for commercial purposes, and that isn’t going to stop any time soon. The dog and cat breeders and trainers, and the airline industry, all make MILLIONS of dollars every year moving pets by air. That’s not going to change, and people who have sought to change it have been the target of harassment including death threats. If it’s not going to change, at least we can try to make it better.
      2. People with allergies will have to deal with pets on planes no matter what. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all carriers allow people needing service animals (which may include dogs and miniature horses) and emotional support animals (which may include animals of any type) to fly in cabin with their owners. In addition, most airlines allow 2-4 pets in the main cabin in carriers as “carry-on luggage.” The person bringing the animal is charged $50-150 dollars is not allowed any other carry-on – so again, the airline is making more money on this. Not likely to stop.
      Honestly, I believe there should be an airline set up specifically for people and their pets. That is part of the goal of Where Is Jack? Inc. And when this airline is created, pets shouldn’t be allowed to fly with other carriers. Better for the pets, and better for people – especially those with allergies.
      However this plays out, though, I am fairly convinced that banning pets from air travel just isn’t realistic. But I agree with you in that in many ways, it would be far superior to what we have now. Thanks again for taking the time to comment!!

  61. Service animals should be allowed in all the places that Adam Smith mentioned but animals “for emotional support” should not be allowed. The fact that it is a joke how easy it is for people to get fake service animal permits is ridiculous. There needs to be legislation to ban this practice or at least some sort of regulations and/or standards to get one of these licenses. I am a dog owner and I would never dream of inconveniencing others in a public place who may not share my affection for my pet. Just my 2 cents!

  62. So sorry for you and Jack. And many thanks for sharing (unfortunately at your fur baby’s expense) what you have learned! God bless and RIP, little Jack.

  63. I have known about this site for some time and I promote it often to help raise awareness. Thank you for creating a valuable resource in his memory. I am so sorry about your baby and believe it or not, I share equally in your pain. RIP precious soul, you are loved! ♥️🙏

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