Does anything tug at the heartstrings more than a story of a lost pet being reunited with its owner?
We don’t think so. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the most emotional stories of lost pet reunions from the last year. Some of these pets were missing for years, but thanks to their loving owners and their microchips, were able to find their way back home.
These are the 7 most inspiring stories of lost dogs who were reunited with their owners last year.
Alex, the Chihuahua Who Was Lost for 6 Years
When little Alex dug a hole under his family’s fence and disappeared, they thought he was gone forever. For six years, his family had no idea what had become of their beloved lost pet.
But six years after he went missing, Alex was scooped into the arms of a good Samaritan 225 miles away. The man took Alex to a local shelter where his microchip was scanned and shelter staff were able to contact his old family. After six years and giving up hope, Alex and his people were reunited.
“Alex could not contain his sheer joy of seeing them again,” the shelter wrote in a Facebook post. “They all stood, hugging a giddy pup who regained his identity and his long-lost family.”
Chato, the Beloved Pug Who Was Lost for 6 Years
Sandra Campos had a beloved pet pug named Chato when she lived in Davis, California. But when Chato went missing, she couldn’t find him.
“I kept putting flyers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, anywhere I could get people’s attention,” she said. “He was part of the family. He was part of me.”
Campos eventually moved to New Mexico, but refused to ever change her phone number in the hopes that Chato would someday be found. Six years after he went missing, her persistence paid off. A pug was found on the side of a busy highway, and when his microchip was scanned, it turned out to be Chato.
“I just started to cry, I was so excited, because I never gave up hope on my pug,” Campos said.
Honey, the Microchipped Pup Who Was Found After 7 Years
When San Antonio’s Animal Care Services picked up what they thought was a stray dog, they were happy to see he was microchipped. Honey’s owner surprised everyone at the shelter with how quickly she arrived to pick him up.
“We called the owner and let them know Honey would be at the shelter. While he was getting his initial shots upon entering our shelter, our staff got a call that his owner had already made it to ACS to reclaim in our front office,” ACS said in a Facebook post. “The woman burst into tears as soon as she saw him, fell to her knees, and held him in her arms. She began to ask him if he remembered who she was.”
It turns out Honey had been missing for seven years, but thanks to his microchip, was finally reunited with the owner who loved and missed him.
Lola, Who Vanished From Her Yard in 2017
Lola vanished from her fenced yard in Michigan in 2017, and her owners had no idea what had happened. Little did they know that three years later, a couple would notice a black lab hanging around the forest preserve near their home. The couple started feeding the dog until they earned her trust and could take her to an animal shelter. Her microchip revealed her owner’s contact information.
“I feel like I’m in a dream right now,” Debra Mejeur said when she was reunited with Lola three years after she went missing.“I still had an ounce of hope, I guess, but the majority of me was thinking she had already crossed the rainbow bridge. I was just completely stunned.”
King, the Senior Dog Who Finally Got to Go Home
King, an 8-year-old Chihuahua, was in his backyard in San Antonio, Texas, on a rainy day — without his collar on. Then, his family said, he disappeared.
“I had rewards out. Facebook. I posted everywhere I could,” his mom said. “It was horrible. We finally gave up, like two months, we’re just like we’re never going to get him back.”
And for seven years, that’s what they thought. They never knew what happened to King — until the phone rang. A humane society halfway across the country in Florida was calling because they had King, and they had scanned his microchip.
After a 20-hour, 1,300-mile drive, King and his family were reunited.
“Oh my gosh. It’s amazing,” his mom said. “He still looks the same, just older.”
A Kodak Moment When Kodak Was Found
Derrick Maxwell checked his email on his 31st birthday and was thrilled by one subject line: “KODAK has been found!”
It had been almost a year since a neighbor let Maxwell’s dog, Kodak, out and he ran away.
“Maybe he ran off looking for me,” Maxwell said. “I was heartbroken.”
Despite putting up fliers and posting on neighborhood message boards, Maxwell didn’t find Kodak. It was thanks to his microchip that the two were finally reunited — almost a year later. Kodak was found in an abandoned house, and after scanning his chip, local shelter contacted Maxwell.
“I was overwhelmed and grateful,” he said. “It was the best birthday gift ever.”
Gracie, the Pit Bull Who Made it Home In Time for Christmas
In December 2019, a visitor left the front door open, and Gracie, a sweet black pit bull with white feet, darted outside.
“We posted signs everywhere; we posted on Lost Dog Illinois, contacted all the shelters in the neighborhood and I just cried for months,” Gracie’s owner, Kelly Shade, said.
But what Shade didn’t know is that Gracie had been found over the summer. Some neighbors had been feeding her for months before she was found, working slowly and steadily to gain her trust. After months of following that routine, they were finally able to capture Gracie and take her to a shelter, where her microchip was scanned, revealing Shade’s contact information.
After 7 months of missing her dog, Shade was reunited with Gracie just in time for the holidays.
“She got close and that tail started wagging, and she just lost it and I lost it,” she said. “Definitely a holiday miracle. It’s definitely remarkable.”