A dog has returned to her original owners after she ran away and was adopted for a short time by another family.
“Sophie,” a small, 5-year-old bichon breed, was riding in a car driven by her Whitman owner’s daughter, Nicole Rowan, according to a press release from the MSPCA-Angell Animal Care and Adoption Center in Boston.
On the way to visit her grandmother, Rowan was involved in a minor car accident that deployed the airbags, scaring the small white dog who leapt from the car window and ran into the thickly-wooded Ames Nowell State Park in Abington, the release said.
Rowan and her mother, Robin, searched for Sophie that night to no avail. In the following days, they blanketed the area around the state park with fliers, issued a Pet Amber Alert, and bought advertisements in The Brockton Enterprise and The Patriot Ledger newspapers offering a reward for the dog’s safe return, officials said.
Meanwhile, on Aug. 18, two days after Sophie went missing, an anonymous Good Samaritan left a small white bichon dog in the lobby of the MSPCA-Angell Animal Care and Adoption Center in Jamaica Plain, according to the release.
But, the dog had no microchip implant or identifying collar, so the center said its staff could not identify her or determine whether she had an owner.
After 10 days the dog was made available for adoption, officials said.
Belmont resident Kaisa Snellman went to the pet adoption center with her family looking for a dog for her 6-year-old son Max, who had saved up allowance money to put toward paying to adopt a rescued dog.
“Max immediately fell in love with Sophie and it was clear she was very drawn to him as well —cozying up to him from inside her cage on the adoption center floor,” Snellman told the center according to a statement.
The dog quickly became the boy’s trusted companion, the animal center said. He would read to the dog before they fell asleep together on his bed at night.
Days later, the Good Samaritan who had brought the dog to the MPSCA, saw one of the flyers about the dog’s disappearance and called Sophie’s original family to tell them their pet had been brought to the animal adoption center, officials said.
The Snellman family’s phone rang soon after.
“It was such a heartbreaking call to receive,” Kaisa Snellman told the center. “As hard as it was to tell our son that we would have to bring Sophie back, we knew it was the right thing to do for Sophie and the Rowans.”
The next morning, the two families met at the animal adoption center.
When the dog saw her original family, she sprinted toward them, barking and yelping as they embraced, officials said.
Snellman and her son watched the bittersweet moment.
“Max was so brave in parting with Sophie and in showing us all the courage involved in ‘doing the right thing,’” adoption center manager Alyssa Muro said in a statement. “We’ll never forget his and his family’s kindness.”
Last week, the Snellman family welcomed home a new six-month-old Bichon Frise breed dog named "Bentley." They adopted the lookalike dog after meeting him at the MSPCA-Nevins Farm, where he had been surrendered by his previous family after suffering a broken leg, the animal adoption center said.
“This story has come full circle,” said Kaisa Snellman. “Sophie is safely back in her original home and we are the proud owners of a wonderful, playful dog who is full of puppy energy. We are so happy that everything worked out this way.”
E-mail Matt Rocheleau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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