A Dog Stolen for Use as a "Breeding Machine" Returns Home After 8 Years
"I don't want to use hyperbole. It's is like Fatcat was somehow meant to get back to this owner. It is the most extreme return-to-owner that I've ever come across."
That's the conclusion of Kerry Sneed, director of an Arkansas animal shelter where the English Bulldog was dropped off weeks ago, and it's hard to disagree.
Eight years ago, Fatcat disappeared, stolen from her backyard in Memphis, Tennessee, according to a story by AZCentral.com. LaShena Harris, who owned the two-year-old dog, filed a police report, put up signs, and searched neighborhoods, but found no sign of her. She suspected the dog was stolen to be bred, and that her groomer tipped off the thieves. Eventually, she moved to Arizona; she thought she would never see the dog again.
"I boo-hooed for two weeks, placed ads, reward signs, everything possible, but I knew in my heart she was gone," she wrote on her GoFundMe page.
Two weeks ago, however, she got a call -- Fatcat had been found West Memphis, Arkansas, dumped on the side of the road. A vet had checked for a microchip and found one. Harris was stunned.
"Overjoyed isn't the word ... shocked, speechless, I cried like a baby at hearing she was found," she writes. "But of course I knew if someone had turned her in, it was because they were done with her."
Harris was right; Fatcat, a rare all-white English Bulldog, had been used as a breeding machine. Unfortunately, the people who used and discarded her did not take good care of the dog. Fatcat was in horrible shape. She needed expensive care, and she was in no condition to make the flight out to Arizona, more than 3,000 miles away, and Harris couldn't make the drive to bring her back, due to financial concerns. Harris was faced with a horrible decision of having to consider putting down her long-lost dog without even seeing her again.
Fate intervened. Right when Harris was grappling with what to do with Fatcat, a worker at the shelter told her that she had a friend moving to Arizona who could take Fatcat. Harris couldn't believe her luck. She agreed, and she finally got to see her dog again.
"I stopped in the driveway entrance of the lot and ran over to her," she told AZCentral.com. "I can't really put into words the feelings because I just kept saying thank you, thank you, thank you so much. I never thought I would see her again -- in came the tears and boo-hooing."
Now, Harris is raising money on a GoFundMe page to help pay Fatcat's bills. The dog's issues include dental work, heartworm treatment, a hysterectomy, and various internal injuries and tumors that need to be dealt with. Harris has already reached her original goal of $5,000, but the bills are expected to quickly top that. If you would like to help, visit her page.
"I think the moral to this story is never lose hope or give up, timing is everything. Have your pet microchipped. They now make them with GPS locators in them, which would have helped me avoid this tragedy," Harris told AZCentral.com. "And when the stars are aligned, anything is possible."
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