MCCORMICK, SOUTH CAROLINA – A South Carolina veteran turned animal advocate traveled more than a thousand miles to rescue a cat at a kill-shelter in Illinois.

WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman shares the adventures of Marley the cat and his lifesaver.

The Humane Society of McCormick County in South Carolina is the only shelter and animal control in the county. For the volunteers of the donation based organization, nothing is more important than rescuing and finding animals a forever home  no matter how near or far they may have to go.

The Humane Society of McCormick County got a call about a cat. According to microchip records the cat was registered to the organization’s shelter. The no-kill facility wanted to rescue the animal from the kill-shelter she was found at in Illinois. So with 10 days before she would be euthanized, at his own expense Phil Kinzer volunteered to travel the nearly 1,200 miles to pick up the cat.

A South Carolina veteran turned animal advocate traveled more than a thousand miles to rescue a cat at a kill-shelter in Illinois.

“He started off pretty noisy, but I had books on tape to keep me company. So I cranked them up and I guess maybe the cat enjoyed the book as much as I did,” Kinzer told WJBF News Channel 6.

The humble veteran told WJBF News Channel 6 he did it all for the volunteers of this shelter.

“I figured I had the time and it wasn’t a problem to do this,” Kinzer said.

In an interesting turn of events, on his way back to McCormick County, Kinzer learned the cat’s owner was found but not where everyone thought.

“As he gets into Atlanta his phone rings and it is the shelter from Illinois and they say Mr. Kinzer how far have you gotten can you turn back?” said Sydnee Voigt, Cat Coordinator of Humane Society of McCormick County.

Apparently, when Marley was micro-chipped the company mixed up her number and registered it the McCormick County Shelter instead of her actual owner, who lives in Illinois.

“Once you ask to have the microchip inserted into your animal it is your responsibility to have that microchip re-registered in your name and you would be surprised how many people forget to do that,” Voigt told WJBF News Channel 6.

As marley awaits her return home to the Prairie State, she’s enjoying the long journey that has brought her to the Palmetto State. For Phil Kinzer and the volunteers of the Humane Society saving her life was the real victory.

“The thing that mattered the most was getting that cat out of that euthanize shelter,” Voigt said.

Marley’s owner is currently finishing up finals but arrangements are being made to return the cat. Phil Kinzer has once again volunteered to deliver and meet her owner halfway.