Animal control officers picked up a stray dog in Festus, Missouri, on Sept. 15 that turned out to be a long way from its home in Pueblo, Colorado.
The St. Bernard named Missy had a microchip but the information on it was out of date and some of it was inaccurate. A persistent volunteer finally tracked down the owner, Brenda Mahaffey.
“I’m really excited, my daughter’s excited. I just want to cry I’m so excited,” Mahaffey said.
Mahaffey said the family got Missy at an animal shelter in Colorado and planned to make her more than a pet.
“We adopted the dog because I have two special needs daughters and we were going to train the dog to be a special needs dog, a service dog,” she said.
But before they could, the dog was stolen from their yard.
No one knows how Missy got from Colorado to Missouri, but there are many who are pitching in to help reunite the dog with its owners.
Melissa Morton is a volunteer who has helped care for Missy. “She’s better,” Morton said. “She had a bath, she had fleas and they gave her some medicine for her skin condition.”
When Morton found out the family wouldn’t be able to pick up the dog soon, she offered to help.
“That’s when I stepped in and said, ‘So, you know, what if they release the dog to me I’ll make sure it gets back to Colorado, I’ll drive it back to Colorado,’ ” Morton said.
Jefferson County in Colorado has also agreed to waive the owners’ fees and veterinary bills.
Brenda Mahaffey’s daughter, Kalli, is looking forward to being with her family’s dog again.
“We’re going to go for walks and then I’m going to take her to a park like we used to,” Kalli said.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has donated a vehicle for Morton to drive to Pueblo at just $10 a day with unlimited miles. She plans to reunite Missy with the Mahaffey family on Friday.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to cover the travel costs.