Man, dog cycle country to promote shelter adoptions

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Bixby loves a good game of fetch.

The four-year old mixed breed happily plays with anyone, anywhere and she's fetched in some far out locations.

Bixby and her owner, Michael Minnick, stopped in New Orleans in the middle of a bicycle tour across the country.

The pair started in Maine in September and biked south along the coast down to Key West.

"I've really been taking my time and kind of seeing the country at a whopping nine miles an hour with my best friend here and it would not be same trip without my dog, for sure," he says.

There's a message behind Minnick's cross-country trip.

Bixby came from an animal shelter in Texas, and Minnick goes to shelters in the cities he visits to raise awareness for pet adoption.

The National Humane Society estimates 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized each year.

"Shelters unfortunately are completely overrun and that's not a good outcome for the dogs that are there," says Minnick. "It's really important, if you can have a dog and you can take care of a dog, the dog will give back to you ten-fold."

Minnick quit his job to travel and gets by on his savings, a few donations and the generosity of people he meets along the way.

It's a new adventure every day, from nature preserves to parades.

"That was the most amazing welcome to New Orleans, where I'd never been before, is to show up, immediately have the hospitality of getting invited back to their homes and then getting to be in a parade the next day," he says.

Minnick and Bixby have already logged about 5,000 miles on their bike and will likely double that by the time the two reach California.

There's a lot of fetch to be played along the way.

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