Lost dog reunited with owner 12 years later, 1,000 miles away in Pittsburgh

Oct. 12 (UPI) — A 14-year-old toy fox terrier was reunited with its Florida owner in Pittsburgh after being missing for 12 years.

Dutchess got loose on Feb. 28, 2007, from her home in Boca Raton.

Katheryn Strang took two days to make the drive to Pittsburgh for the reunion at Humane Animal Rescue’s shelter on Friday.

“Dutchess,” Strang said to workers at the shelter and the media. “Hi, baby, I’ve missed you so.”

Someone found the dog under a shed in Carnegie on Tuesday — hungry, shivering and in need of a nail trim. She was brought to the shelter.

“She was really nervous and needed a nail trim,” said Torin Fisher, an admissions counselor with the shelter.

Because the dog was microchipped with the owner’s information on it implanted, Fisher was able to contact Strang.

“This amazing story unfolded, and here they are,” Fisher said. “This is why I love it. This is the whole reason I’m here every day. Getting owners back with their pets is a great feeling. It’s amazing.”

Strang surmises the dog got into someone’s car and made the trip north because she likes to ride in vehicles.

“She had a tri-colored face the last time I saw her,” Strang said about the brown, black and white dog. “I bet she could tell me some stories.”

She said she was shocked to find out the dog was alive.

“I’m just so happy to have her back. I cried so many nights without her,” Strang told reporters. “I was at work, and my son, who was 12 years old accidentally opened the door in the afternoon after school one day and we never saw her again.”

Only 4 percent of stray animals brought to the shelter in 2018 had microchips, according to Humane Animal Rescue.

“I held out hope because I paid for that microchip every year,” Strang said. “It was $15 a year, I wasn’t going to give up hope for that. Always hope.”

Strang owns two other toy fox terriers.