A dog that went missing nearly two years ago in Ocala, Florida has been reunited with his owner in Dearborn, Michigan.
Zeus, a scruffy runaway pup, had a teary, kiss-filled reunion with his mom, Debbie Petranck, on April 12, 2016 in an unlikely place. The dog wandered afar in August 2014, sparking a frantic but hopeful, never-ending rescue effort by Ms. Petranck.
The pug-nosed terrier lived in Ocala, Florida, over a thousand miles from Dearborn, outside of Detroit, where he was found. When Zeus went missing, he was discovered at a fast food restaurant, where a man scooped him up and took in the seemingly stray dog. The man eventually relocated to Dearborn, Michigan, taking Zeus with him.
Last week, true to form, Zeus went exploring yet again. This time when he was picked up, he landed himself in Dearborn Animal Shelter. The rescue and adoption center makes sure to scan each new animal addition for a microchip, a rice-sized electronic tag inserted into the neck and shoulder region of pets. Alternatively, pets can also be tattooed with an identification number.
Microchips are registered to the pet's owner, where an electronic database links the tag number with the owner's contact information. Lucky for Zeus and his owner, he had a microchip.
Dearborn Animal Shelter reported that Ms. Petranck was "ecstatic" when they called her to inform her they had Zeus safe and sound. Petranck said she spent the last year and a half putting a weekly ad in the newspaper searching for Zeus.
Petranck hopped in her car when she received the good--and surprising--news, driving 17 hours north. Her road trip was aided by Fairlane Ford and Enterprise Leasing, who offered rental car discounts, as well as Red Roof Inn in Dearborn, which supplied an overnight stay for the family of two. Other anonymous donations were made to help Ms. Petranck afford the journey.
If anyone has ever questioned whether or not a dog can remember its owner after a nearly two-year separation period, this story answers that. Zeus wagged his tail and sprinted to his owner's arms, covering her in puppy kisses.
Zeus's story is one with a happy ending. It is also a perfect example of the necessity of microchipping. You never know when your loyal companion will get curious and wander off. With a microchip, they have a much higher chance of being reunited with you.
All photos via Dearborn Animal Shelter.