When Evanston Dog Shelter Manager Tanya Ohanian received a call about a dog found nearby in Cook County, Illinois, she thought the pup was just a homeless dog. local shelter.
What Ohanian didn’t know was that this dog had been taken from her family and she had spent the past five years trying to get home.
Once safely in the shelter, staff scanned the pup for a microchip, but the information they found on the list was not up to date. They thought it might be a dead end.
But soon, with the help of a local organization called Microchip Hunters, the shelter miraculously received a more detailed account of the dog’s past.
New information has revealed that the pup was not an unnamed stray. The dog’s name was Dottie and she had missed her family for five years.
Soon, Ohanian was on the phone with Dottie’s family, telling them some incredible news — their best friend is back and waiting for them.
Dottie’s father, George Laving, has missed his dog for so long he couldn’t believe the news.
“I cried for nights because of it,” Laving said.
Now, to his surprise, she was back in his arms.
“We were all very, very happy,” Ohanian said.
The Dottie family weren’t sure if their pup would recognize him after so long, but it soon became clear that Dottie knew exactly who they were.
“There was never any hesitation,” Ohanian said. “It was just perfect.”
You can watch the moment of Dottie’s reunion with a family member here:
Even the shelter staff couldn’t help but cry as they watched the dog immediately relax from the touch of his loved one.
“It was emotional for all of us,” Ohanian said. “I think we were all in tears.”
It’s still unclear what Dottie’s journey was over the past five years. Her family may never know exactly what happened before she was gone, but that doesn’t matter right now—they’re just glad she’s finally home.
To help other dogs like Dottie, donate to Evanston Animal Shelter here and Flea Hunters here.