Two years after her beloved dog went missing, a Pennsylvania woman decided she was ready to fill her home with the pitter-patter of 4 little paws once again. While scrolling through adoptable dogs online, she paused at one picture in particular. The adoptable dog looked very familiar.
Aisha Nieves was scrolling through the Lehigh County Humane Society’s adoptable dogs when she saw a familiar face.
“I thought, ‘Wait, that can’t be him,’” Nieves told The Morning Call, referring to the dog she lost two years ago. “Then, I saw the little scar over one eye, the scar from when he got caught in a gate, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s my baby, that’s Kovu!’
Nieves had adopted Kovu in 2014 when he was only a 7-week old puppy. She and the tan pitbull-rottweiler mix were inseparable, spending every possible moment together until May of 2019 when a vehicle struck her fence and Kovu went missing. An exhaustive search for her missing dog turned up nothing.
Weeks later, the Lehigh Valley Humane Society picked up a stray dog found in an Allentown, Pennsylvania yard. Without a microchip or identification, shelter staff were unable to locate an owner.
“Our staff named him ‘Ash,’” LCHS director of development Deirdre Snyder said. “He needed to be treated for fleas, was missing hair on his hind end, and had inflammation. He was treated with antibiotics and bathed with a special medical shampoo. He was in our shelter for about four months and then adopted out to a family on October 25, 2019.
Shortly after, Nieves learned her dog had been found and already adopted. She thought she’d never see him again.
Then, on June 12 of this year, Ash’s adopters returned to the shelter. They were facing eviction from their home and had made the unfortunate but necessary decision to return the dog they’d adopted and loved for two years. He was in good health.
Only 6 days later, Nieves found herself searching for adoptable dogs at Lehigh Valley Humane Society.
“They had him under another name, ‘Ash.’ When I was sure it was him, I got so excited I was literally shaking. I called the Humane Society and told them ‘Ash’ is my dog, Kovu, who’s been missing for two years,” she said. “I told them, ‘I’m on my way to get him right now, what do I need to bring?’”
Nervous that the dog she hadn’t seen in two years wouldn’t remember her, Nieves waited at the shelter for him to be brought into the room. But her fears washed away the moment she and Kovu locked eyes.
“He was screaming, trying to get away from the guy holding him and run to me. Then, he just jumped on me and we started kissing and hugging. He sat on my lap. I told him, ‘Yeah, buddy, you’re going home. I’m so sorry this happened. Never again am I losing you.’”
“Now that he’s back home, I feel whole again,” she said. “All that time he was gone, I felt like a piece of me was missing. Never did I stop thinking about him or wondering if he was being treated well wherever he was. I’d look at Facebook pictures of us together and start crying. I just wanted my baby back. And now he is.”
Kovu is now microchipped, a simple procedure that could have reunited him with his family much sooner. Microchipping is inexpensive, easy, and one of the best ways to ensure a pet is returned to their family if they become lost.