While taking photos of adoptable dogs at a California shelter, Maria Sanchez snapped a shot of a sad-looking man who lacked the money he needed to get his dog back.
Dave Thomas said he had been arrested for failure to appear in court for two traffic violations. Upon his arrest, his dog, a 2-year-old pit bull mix named Buzz Lightyear, was placed in the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
Thomas, upon his release, went to pick up Buzz, but was told he needed to pay $400 in shelter fees first. He had $6 in his pocket.
Shelter staff did let him visit Buzz, at which point, after giving his dog some water, Thomas took a seat outside the cage and cried. That’s about when Sanchez, a dog lover and photographer, happened by and took his photo.
“He sat down next to him and started weeping,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez posted the picture on her Facebook page and soon complete strangers were pledging money to help, KABC in Los Angeles reported.
Sanchez, initially, was unable to pass along the good news, or the donations, because she hadn’t gotten Thomas’ contact information. She posted flyers in the community, urging him to contact her.
On Monday night, KABC tracked Thomas down and put him in touch with Sanchez.
“Everything is taken care of,” she told him over the phone.
“God bless you darling,” he told Sanchez.
The two had planned to meet at the shelter yesterday and get Buzz out, but the shelter declined to release the dog until he was neutered.
While Thomas maintains he was charged only with not appearing in court for traffic-related offenses, police say he was suspected of possessing drugs and was charged with a felony.
Thomas said he had marijuana when he was arrested, but he showed reporters paperwork on Tuesday indicating he’s a medical marijuana patient, the Redlands Daily Facts reported.
It also reported that $2,000 had been raised, and that Thomas, since all the publicity, had received both a job offer and a marriage proposal.
Meanwhile, praise keeps pouring in for the efforts Sanchez made on her Facebook page:
“Dear Ms. Sanchez, I have worked very hard over the last 47 years to keep humans and their dogs together. When I read stories like that of Dave and Buzz and the horrible position they were put in needlessly I just want to give up on humans all together. Then someone like you comes out of the blue and manages to see what is truly important. That Buzz and Dave needed to be together no matter how hard the system tried to foil this end. Yes you are an Angel. Not only did you orchestrate the miracle of reuniting two beings that should have never been separated you actually “SAW” through your Angel’s eyes the miracle that needed to be. In this you reunite my faith with human beings once again. This gives me hope. A gift that seems to be pretty spare these days. Thank you.”
(Photo: Maria Sanchez / Facebook)
(You can find an update on this story here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, arrest, Buzz, buzz and dave, buzz lightyear, dave and buzz, dave thomas, dog, dogs, facebook, fees, maria sanchez, pets, photographer, photography, reclaim, reunite, san bernadino, shelter
Dan Kesler, now an assistant swim coach at Arizona State University, lost his dog while living in Durham, N.C.
He’d moved repeatedly since then, but had kept the same cell phone number, allowing humane society officials in North Carolina to get in touch with him when B.A. — who was microchipped — ended up in a shelter.
The dog was found wandering the streets of Durham, North Carolina last month, according to Fox 10 in Phoenix.
Kesler said he’d almost given up hope of ever seeing his dog again.
“The first night I spent outside waiting for him to come back, because I honestly thought he would come back that night. Within a week I thought he would show up, but but then as weeks turned into months and months turned into years … did I think he’d be back? I can’t say yes. But I never gave up hope.”
Kesler was contacted by the North Carolina shelter about four weeks ago, and B.A. was flown to Arizona at the beginning of the month.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, arizona, arizona state university, ba, dan kesler, doberman, dog, dogs, durham, found, lost, microchip, north carolina, pets, pinscher, reunion, reunite, swimming coach, thunderstorm
And, given it’s “National Pet Travel Safety Day” — yes, really — what better time to share that news.
Phil Nichols, 79, was heading back to Arizona from Helena, Montana, on Nov. 28 when he discovered his 6-year-old Lab mix, Buddy, was missing.
Buddy rode in the camper in the bed of Nichols’ pickup — and we won’t debate the safety of that practice here. He was in the camper, Nichols said, when he stopped for gas in Dillon. But on his next stop, Idaho Falls, he checked and found Buddy was gone.
Nichols drove 150 miles back to Dillon and spent a day and a half searching before heading, doglessly, back to Arizona.
In Pocatello, Idaho, Nichols, cut off by another car, hit a guardrail and rolled his vehicle. He wasn’t seriously injured, but the camper was crushed. Nichols wonders if Buddy somehow had a “sixth sense” about the accident and got out of the camper — though he doesn’t know how — before it was too late.
“I think the dog has more brains than I do,” said Nichols, who adopted Buddy from an animal shelter.
One month after Buddy’s disappearance, back in Montana, animal control officers got a call Thursday about a wounded stray dog in the Buxton area, about 10 miles southwest of Butte, according to the Billings Gazette.
Animal control officer Charlie Dick responded, spending 45 minutes coaxing the limping dog toward him with treats, before snagging him.
The dog was emaciated, had scratches on his face, and a wounded rear foot. In addition to freezing temperatures, and having to survive in the wild, Buddy had been shot with BB’s, X-rays by a veterinarian revealed.
“What a little survivor,” Dick said. ” He was out there a long time.”
Animal control was able to locate and contact Buddy’s owner through a lost dog ad on Craigslist, which had been posted by Nichols’ daughter in Helena.
Nichols said he plans to reunite with Buddy once the vet pronounces the dog ready to leave, but that he may call his dog before then.
“I just want them to put the phone to his ear and let him hear my voice,” Nichols said. “I think that would make him feel better.”
(Photo: Buddy and Nichols before they got separated)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animal control, animals, arizona, buddy, butte, buxton, camper, crash, dillon, dog, dogs, emaciated, found, freezing, idaho springs, injured, lab, lost, mix, montana, month, national pet travel safety day, pets, phil nichols, reunion, reunite, shot, survival, survivor, travel, wilds
A recent study by Ohio State University confirms what would seem to be pretty obvious — microchipped pets have a better chance of being reunited with their owners than those without microchips.
Microchipped pets find their way back home about 75 percent of the time; in the case of dogs, that’s about 2.5 times more often than those without microchips, according to the study.
Less than 2 percent of all stray dogs and cats taken to shelters participating in the study had microchips implanted in their bodies. Nationally, experts estimate about 5 percent of pets are microchipped.
Microchips have yet to become widely popular — and they aren’t foolproof, the study notes. That one of every four microchiped pets isn’t reunited with its owner is a function of the number of different microchip companies and registries, and owners who fail to keep those registries updated on address changes.
Still, the study suggest that pet owners should give strong consideration to microchipping their companion animals — a conclusion that isn’t that surprising, either, considering one of the authors is a consultant for a company that, through one of its subsidairies, manufactures microchips.
The study notes that identification tags, with the pet’s name, owner’s name and phone number, are still the most effective way to ensure a lost pet is returned.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: dog, dogs, found, id, identification, implanted, linda lord, lost, medicine, microchipped, microchipping, microchips, ohio state university, pet, pet owners, pets, registries, registry, return, reunite, reunited, school, shelter, shelters, study, tags, veterinarians, veterinary
Jay Jay and Jessie are together again.
Jessie Pullins, separated from his dog Jay Jay during Hurricane Katrina, was reunited with the Akita mix yesterday — nearly four years later.
Pullins, busy helping 10 of his relatives evacuate, couldn’t take his dog with him when he left his house in New Orleans in 2005. Once he returned, weeks later, the dog was gone.
About a year later he saw his dog on TV, appearing, with a new owner, on an episode of the National Geographic Channel program, The Dog Whisperer.
An animal rescue group had saved Jay Jay from the home, and he was shuffled between different animal groups before being adopted in California.
After tracking Jay Jay down, Pullins entered a long legal battle, with assistance from the Katrina Animal Reunion Team, to try and get him back.
Pullins, who is one of the pet owners featured in the documentary, Mine: Taken by Katrina, said he has no hard feelings toward the woman for resisting his attempts to get Jay Jay back.
“Everybody falls in love with Jay Jay. He’s lovable. I don’t fault them.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akita, cesar millan, documentary, dog whsperer, evacuation, hurricane, j.j., jay jay, jesse pullins, katrina, katrina animal reunion team, katrina dog, mine, rescue, reunite, reunited
A Navy soldier has been reunited with the dog she rescued in Iraq.
Construction Mechanic First Class Joan Steates, who along with fellow Seabees took in a stray shepherd-mix pup named Sako, was forced to leave her behind when she came home in October.
On Monday night, they reunited at Dulles Airport, throught the efforts of SPCA International’s Operation Baghdad Pups, which provides veterinary care, clearance and transportation for animals that U.S. service members can’t bear to leave behind in the Middle East.
In the past year year, Baghdad Pups has brought 79 dogs and cats from Iraq and Afghanistan. 50 other reunions are in the works.
The SPCA says the program, funded entirely by donations, spends about $4,000 to ship each animal to the U.S.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: baghdad, dog, dogs, iraq, joan steates, navy, operation baghdad pups, reunion, reunite, sako, spca international
Three months after shipping her adopted dog, Ratchet, home from Iraq, Army Specialist Gwen Beberg was reunited with him, her tour of duty completed.
“Hey, baby. Oh, you got so big — Oh, you got so big,” said the soldier to the pup. “Yeah, who’s home? Who’s home, huh?”
The two were reunited Saturday as Beberg returned to Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Friends, family and supporters gathered at VFW Post 363 to witness the reunion. “I wish every soldier in the world, past, present and future, came home to a welcome like this,” Beberg said.
Beberg urged support for Operation Baghdad Pups, a branch of SPCA International that rescues dogs and cats adopted by U.S. military personnel. More than 50 pets have been relocated to the United States.
Beberg adopted Ratchet as a month-old pup after fellow soldiers rescued him from a burning pile of trash.
Although the Army balked at Beberg’s plan to send the dog home, Beberg’s efforts, and those of Operation Baghdad Pups — along with 70,000 signatures on online petitions and some help from congress — led military officials to loosen the prohibition on U.S. troops adopting pets in Iraq.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopted, army, beberg, dogs, gwen beberg, home, homecoming, iraq, military, minnesota, operation baghdad pups, ratchet, reunion, reunite, troops, video, war