Missing Dog Is Reunited With Mom After 1,100 Mile Journey

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Source: Garrett Pelican/The Florida Times-Union

Source: Garrett Pelican/The Florida Times-Union

There’s no place like home, even to dogs.

Apollo, an 11-year-old Great Pyrenees mix from Jacksonville, Florida decided to take a joy walk after escaping his enclosure on August 11. His mom, Cynthia Abercrombie, thought she’d never see him again, that is, until she got a phone call from animal rescue volunteers in a completely different state. Apollo’s mission might as well have been the moon as he miraculously traveled 1,100 miles before being found about an hour outside of Boston in Swansea, Massachusetts.

Apollo was seen roaming around about a month after he bolted on September 8 by the Town of Swansea Animal Shelter. When animal control officer Lisa White discovered a microchip inserted in his scruff, White was able to contact Abercrombie while reaching out to volunteer rescue groups via Facebook for someone to take Apollo home.

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East Coast Paws Transport,  a company that chauffeurs runaway pooches reached out. They routinely rescue dogs from high-kill shelters in the South and bring them North to find homes. Jacksonville, Florida was not a part of their regular route, so for Apollo, nearly two dozen drivers were dispatched to drive an hour with him in their cage-rigged van and then hand him off to another volunteer the next morning. Apollo even had an overnight in Virginia to get some rest before hitting the road from Folkston, Georgia to Jacksonville.

Source: East Coast Paws Transport

Source: East Coast Paws Transport

Apollo landed home the evening of September 23, bounding out of the car and into Abercrombie’s arms to greet her as if he never left – even though it had been six weeks since she saw him last. The reunion was bittersweet for Abercrombie who has had Apollo since he was just six months old.

She told The Florida Times Union“It’s a big relief just having him back, knowing he’s OK. When they told me where he was, I said, ‘I don’t even know how I’m going to get him back.’”

Volunteers Bill and Gail Towne who took charge of the final leg of Apollo’s journey home said all the miles and late nights makes everything worthwhile when they get to meet new people and reunite them with their missing pets.

White said Apollo’s happy ending emphasizes the need for microchipping your pet and registering the pet parent’s contact information in a database.

The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the United States every year. No bigger than a grain of rice and virtually painless when inserted it will bring lost pets home and provide peace of mind that your beloved companion will never wander unknown.

It did for Apollo.

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