Reported by: Marisa Yamane
Story Published: 12/28/2012
An Ewa Beach family who lost their dog in October is overwhelmed by the support they received after pleading for help.
The family also says they learned some valuable lessons from this.
Most dog owners feel their dogs are part of their family.
That's certainly how the Wards of Ewa Beach feel about their dogs -- Koda on the left, and Kai on the right.
But two months ago, Koda ran away from home.
"We never stopped looking. We posted ads on Craigslist at least three times a week," said Ashley Ward, Koda's owner.
Then last month, Ashley got a call from a woman in Kaneohe.
"Basically she called me and said hey look I have your dog, I want you to know he's alive, but he's mine and you're never going to see him again. We were so heartbroken because we finally found him, we just cried for days," said Ashley Ward.
Turns out, Koda ended up at the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Ashley says Koda has a microchip but the owner on file is the person they got Koda from, and that person didn't know how to get in touch with the Wards and surrendered ownership.
"Legally when she adopted him and passed that 30 day mark, he was hers," said Ashley Ward.
Then this past Saturday, Ashley got a call from the woman.
"I just answered my phone, thought it was a family member calling, and she said I've decided to give him back if you can pay me $700 for what i've spent on him. In October, Humane Society had adoptions for $10. She said she spent all this on vet records," said Ashley Ward.
Ashley made another plea for help online, and within a day, the Wards had raised the $700 needed to get Koda back -- and most of the donors were complete strangers.
And now, Koda is back home with the Wards.
"And we woke up the night we got him home, we woke up at 2 in the morning because we heard something downstairs, and my 5 year old was asleep on him. And we woke her up and asked what she was doing and she said she had to make sure he was still there. She said it was her christmas miracle and we couldn't have asked for a better gift," said Ashley Ward.
Ashley says she did learn from this experience about the importance of having your dog microchipped, and having the records updated.
Also, she learned that City law requires all dogs have and wear a county-issued license tag, which identifies you as the legal owner.
"As soon as we got Koda back, we got that done. Overall, it's a happy ending. The kids couldn't be happier, we couldn't be happier," said Ashley Ward.
And, Kai also couldn't be happier.
"Kai is overwhelmed to have his best friend back," said Ashley Ward.