Jump to content
Boronia

Woman reunited with missing dog 12 years later and 1600km from home

9 posts in this topic

Boronia   

 

By Brittany Shammas
October 15, 2019 — 1.25am
  •  

Dutchess the fox terrier squeezed out the door at her owner's house in Orlando, Florida, one day in February 2007 and didn't return. A devastated Katheryn Strang made "lost dog" signs and took daily trips to the local shelter for months, desperate to find her.

On Friday, Strang finally got the reunion she had been hoping for - 12 years after Dutchess disappeared. A man found the dog under his shed in the Pittsburgh area, almost 1600 kilometres from Orlando. He took the shivering animal to a shelter, Humane Animal Rescue. There, a scan of Dutchess's microchip linked her to Strang, who had since moved to Boca Raton, Florida.

 

Katheryn Strang is reunited with her fox terrier, Dutchess.

 

 

Katheryn Strang is reunited with her fox terrier, Dutchess.Credit:AP

At the shelter on Friday, Strang cried as an employee handed her the dog she had always hoped would one day return to her. Staff members posted footage of the emotional reunion on Facebook, writing, "This is why we do what we do."

"Dutchess. Hi, baby. I missed you," Strang says in the video as she strokes the dog's face. "Your face is all white."

 

No one knows how Dutchess made the trek to Pittsburgh - or what she has been doing for the past 12 years. Strang joked that the dog could "tell me some stories." She said she couldn't imagine that Dutchess had walked the whole way.

The dog, who is now 14, was hungry, shaking and "in serious need of a nail trim" when she arrived at the shelter, said Torin Fisher, an admissions counsellor with Humane Animal Rescue. She was also "a little nervous about the situation, which, who could blame her?" Fisher said. But otherwise, Dutchess was in pretty good shape.

Shelter employees soon found the microchip - an implanted device that contains a unique number that can be traced back to an animal's owner. Seeing that Dutchess's owner lived in Florida, Fisher figured the family must have recently moved to Pittsburgh. Only when she called Strang did she learn "how incredible of a situation it actually was."

 

Dutchess had been missing for 12 years.

 

 

Dutchess had been missing for 12 years.Credit:AP

"The whole story kind of unfolded while we were on the phone," Fisher said. "And we were equally excited and shocked and surprised."

 

Strang had always held out hope that Dutchess might be found, even after so many years. She paid a $US15 ($22) annual fee to keep the microchip active, saying on Friday that she would have continued that for years.

Still, she was in disbelief as she drove to Pittsburgh.

"Until she's in your arms, it's just gut-wrenching," she said.

The Washington Post

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snook   

How awful to have been separated for so long but so heart-warming that this little dog will get to live out her last days back with the family who live her so much. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poor little dog ..... i wonder ..did she remember them at all ? it's a lifetime ! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rozzie   

 

Tenacious little dogs those Mini Foxies. What a gorgeous old girl.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stellnme   

The owner kept the microchip active all that time and changed her details!  How wonderful it would be if all owners did the right thing and gave them and their pets the best chance of being reunited if the worst should happen.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mita   

One of our Tibetan Spaniel pet owners, just recovered her Tibbie, Chalice, who'd been missing for 9 months.  The daughter of a friend (who knew Chalice well) spotted someone walking her.  Checked out the person's address, then told the owner.  Owner said she went to the address,  expecting it wouldn't be Chalice...but to her amazement it was.  She'd taken along posters that she'd put up, 9 months back, with very clear photos of Chalice.  As she said, it didn't give the residents any choice but to hand her over.  Chalice is now happily back home.

 

Another Tibbie, on Qld's Gold Coast, TJ Malone, went missing for 8 months after gates blew open in a storm.  The owners searched & searched for months, but no luck.  But T.J. Malone's dad contacted his chip registry & got the word 'MISSING' added to the data base.  If anyone scanned him, that was an alert that his family was looking for him.  After 8 months, someone surrendered him to the AWL, saying they couldn't look after him any more (giving impression they were the owner).  AWL scanned for chip as part of their routine.  Up came TJ Malone's real owner & the magic word MISSING.  AWL phoned his family, who piled into the car & headed for the shelter.  As soon asTJ saw his family, he flew into their arms,  squealing with excitement.  AWL said there wasn't a dry eye in the place!

Edited by mita
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×