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In 2007, more than 12 years ago, Dutchess escaped from her Florida home and disappeared. Today, the lost dog is back at home, over a thousand miles from where she was found hiding under a shed in Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
On February 28, 2007, Katheryn Strang’s then-12-year-old son accidentally left a door of their Orlando, Florida home open. Dutchess, their then-2-year-old puppy, slipped outside and disappeared.
Strang blanketed her neighborhood with lost dog posters, continually called area shelters and scoured lost and found groups looking for Dutchess, but the Toy Fox Terrier never showed up. Still, refusing to give up hope, Strang continued to register Dutchess’ microchip year after year, keeping it updated with current contact information and location.
And, finally, one week ago, Dutchess was found.
A Good Samaritan found the little old dog hiding underneath a shed in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. Her rescuer brought her to Pittsburgh’s Humane Animal Rescue. The dog was shivering, hungry and in need of some TLC. And, when shelter staff scanned her for a microchip, they were shocked to find that she had a registered owner, more than a thousand miles away, who’d been searching for her for more than a decade.
When the shelter called her, Strang said, “I can’t believe you’re calling me right now. I can’t believe this is happening.” She’ll never know how Dutchess wound up all the way in Pennsylvania or where she’s been for the past 12 years. But, on Friday, Strang made the 18-hour drive from her South Florida home to Pittsburgh to be reunited with her long lost pup.
HAR streamed the emotional reunion to their Facebook page.
Dutchess is finally back at home with her family, which includes several dogs to play with. In honor of the incredible reunion, HAR is offering reduced rate microchipping through the end of the month. If not for the microchip implanted in Dutchess so many years ago, this reunion would not have been possible.
“I held out hope because I paid for that microchip every year,” said Strang. “It was $15 a year, I wasn’t going to give up hope for that. Always hope.”