A black Lab mix showed up on a man's front porch in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, so he brought the friendly pup to Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley, hoping the shelter could find the dog's owners.
The shelter workers found the dog's microchip but had to do a little investigating to see if they could find her owner. The first phone number they called had been disconnected, but they reached the dog's original vet, who said the dog was listed as deceased.
"We assured them that she was with us and was very much alive, and they provided us with a current number for her owners," shelter manager Gwen Snyder tells MNN.
They reached her owner, Debra Suierveld, who lives 10 miles from Apollo, where the dog was found.
"Her initial reaction was confusion," Synder says. "When [the medical coordinator] told her that her dog had been brought to us over the weekend, the owner told us her dog was right with her and had been all weekend."
But when they told Suierveld the dog's name, her confusion turned to shock. She was quiet for a moment, and told them that her dog, Abby, had been missing for 10 years. She disappeared one day when playing in the yard with her kids.
Suierveld rushed to the shelter to pick up her long-lost pup.
"Abby is a very sweet and friendly dog, so at first it was hard to tell if she recognized her owner, or if she was just being her sweet self," Synder says. "However, over the time the owner was here, Abby continued to move closer to her, sitting on her feet and leaning into her, so I do think her memory was coming back to her. She also remembered her name."
Abby is in very good health for her age, so shelter workers think someone must have been taking care of her. But it's likely they didn't think to ask a vet to scan her to see if she had a previous owner.
"We microchip all of our animals when they are adopted, and we believe microchips are an indispensable tool in reuniting lost pets with their owners," Snyder says. "Abby's reunion likely never would have happened if she'd not been microchipped."