Elderly Dog Found Over 1,000 Miles From Home Reunites With Family 7 Years After Going Missing
Jazzy, 12, had been missing from her Texas home for seven years before Florida authorities found her sick and abandoned in a hotel room. After being dormant for so long, her microchip was finally able to do its work.
Earlier in December, officers with Orange County Animal Services found Jazzy. She was alone and could barely walk, according to a Facebook post from Animal Services. Her arthritis was severe, but Jazzy was still sweet and gentle, letting the officers care for her.
"We knew in her condition she'd be hard to find a home for," Animal Services wrote. "People line up outside our doors for puppies and small dogs; seniors always get overlooked and ignored."
But Jazzy didn't need a new home. The Orange County staff found her microchip and used it to locate her family in Texas. Her owner, Kerry Smith, flew to Orlando on Saturday to see his pup for the first time in seven years, according to WESH.
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The TV station reports Jazzy, then 5, ran from her Fort Worth home during Fourth of July fireworks. No one knows how she found herself more than 1,000 miles away in that Florida hotel room all these years later, but Smith had been waiting for that phone call.
"I knew as soon as she went to a vet that I would get the call that I would be waiting for for seven years," he told WESH. "I always wondered if she was alive, I always wondered if she was happy, if she was feeling well, and she's not now, but we will get her better."
Animal Services wrote that he didn't hesitate to reunite with his dog, even after he heard about her health issues. It was a "tearful" reunion, and Smith told the shelter staff stories about his beloved dog.
"Jazzy couldn't take her eyes off him," Animal Services wrote. "She licked his hand again and again and inched her body as close as she could to him. After all those years, her heart still remembered and was finally whole." And Smith's message? "Chip your dog."