PITTSBURGH - A 14-year-old Fox Terrier was reunited with her owner on Friday after she went missing 12 years ago from Florida and was found Tuesday over 1,000 miles away in Pennsylvania shivering under a shed.
Humane Animal Rescue in Pittsburgh facilitated the reunion of the dog named Duchess with her owner Katheryn Strang.
“We’re very excited to play a part in this reunion and for the family to finally have closure and a positive outcome nonetheless!” said Zac Seymour, manager of digital communications at the rescue. “Moments like these are so refreshing and motivate us to keep working harder every day. We wish Duchess nothing but the best with her family.”
The rescue also livestreamed the heartwarming reunion on Facebook.
Duchess was lost as puppy in South Florida on Feb. 28, 2007, according to the rescue. Then, on Tuesday, she was found “hungry, shivering and in serious need of a nail trim under a shed in Carnegie, Pennsylvania,” the rescue said.
A property owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, brought Duchess to the Humane Animal Rescue’s North Side Animal Resource Center.
It’s unclear how the Fox Terrier made the journey from Florida to Pennsylvania.
During Duchess’ initial exam, the rescue was able to locate a microchip, which traced back to her owners in Boca Raton, Florida. When the rescue contacted the owners, they were in disbelief, according to the organization.
“I can’t believe you’re calling me right now. I can’t believe this is happening,” Strang said.
The rescue said Strang then “immediately made plans to drive up to Pittsburgh (an 18+ hour drive).”
“On a personal note — I was able to spend some time with Duchess over the past few days, and she was always craving attention,” Seymour said. “I can’t help but smile knowing that after all of this time, she’s finally going home to get the care she needs, and the love she deserves.”
In 2018, only 4 percent of stray animals brought into Humane Animal Rescue were microchipped, which is consistent with the national average, according to the organization. To encourage local pet owners to get their animals microchipped, the rescue will be offering half-off of microchips through the end of October.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.