Saturday, August 18, 2012

Allie & 'Bama, basset hounds

Missing dogs reunited with owners after 5 years, long journey
Two dogs who went missing from their Tenn. home were found in Ga.


PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — This is one of those stories where you wish animals could talk.

If they could, a pair of basset hounds named Allie and 'Bama would probably have quite a story to tell — like where they've been the past half-decade.

Saturday they were reunited with owners Brenda Travis and her boyfriend, Tom Shields, five-and-a-half years after they were stolen from the couple's home in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

"We would look in neighborhoods and just drive around; we drove around for months, just looking," Travis told 11 Alive's sister station KSDK-TV.

Brenda and Tom had since moved to Wichita, Kan., and never expected to see the dogs again.

Then, a couple weeks ago, Brenda got a phone call from kennel technician Becky Davis of the Paulding County Animal Shelter.

Someone found Allie and 'Bama wandering around the parking lot of a Dallas, Ga. tractor supply store and took them to the shelter on July 5.

Shelter workers tried a microchip detector on the dogs. Davis tried three phone numbers that came up. The first two were no longer good, but the third put her in touch with Travis, who couldn't believe the message.

"I asked her, 'do you happen to have two basset hounds?'" Davis said.

"And I said, 'no ma'am, ours got stolen five-and-a-half years ago'," Travis replied.

"I said, 'well, we have them here at the pound'," Davis told her.

"There was a long pause and a lot of tears," Travis said.

"She said, 'oh, my gosh, you are kidding me'," Davis said.

"I said, 'no ma'am, they're here' and it brought tears to my eyes," Davis added.

"I asked her how they were and she said, 'they're healthy and fat'," Travis said.

"I said, 'they're in good condition' and she said, 'oh, my gosh'," David said.

Thanks to volunteers from Guardian Angel Basset Rescue, Allie and 'Bama were reunited with their owners near St. Louis last Saturday, hundreds of miles and several years after they last saw each other.

Rescue volunteer Don Hunt brought the dogs there for the handover.

Back at the Paulding County Animal Shelter, Davis was also celebrating.

"Oh, yeah, that makes it worth working here; I love it; I love animals," she said.



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tia, shepherd

An unbelievable reunion for lost service dog who was nearly killed in a shelter
By: Penny Eims
August 9, 2012

A service dog named Tia was nearly killed in a California animal control facility last week.

Her story is amazing, miraculous - almost unbelievable in fact. Readers of this column unwittingly followed portions of her story - as did I, the author of the stories.

Tia, before she went missing

Back to the beginning...

Eight months ago, Tia disappeared from her home in Prince Edward County, Va. The dog, who served as a service dog to her disabled veteran owner, Karren Cooper, had bounded into the woods and disappeared.

The initial story about Tia's disappearance, found below, dates back to January 5, 2012.

Fast forward to a story which I published on August 2 - just seven days ago.

In that story, an alert had been issued for a young, German shepherd housed in a Southern Los Angeles animal control facility; the dog had just 3 days to live.

Unbeknownst to me, this dog was in fact, Tia, the missing service dog from Virginia.

According to ABC 6 News, Tia was rescued by a Missouri dog trainer who somehow connected the dots after finding a post on Facebook. That trainer contacted Cooper, who was able to finally, after eight months, be reunited with her missing dog.

Cooper speculates that her dog was stolen.

What a journey this dog has had.

Sadly, Tia was never microchipped; had she been, it is highly unlikely that she would have been at risk of death at the California animal control facility.

An incredible reunion - a miracle save.


Original story at

Veteran's service dog missing
By: Penny Eims
January 5, 2012

Prince Edward County, VA - Tia is a 4 yr-old German shepherd who functions as a service dog for a disabled veteran named Karren Cooper.

Tia is a friend, companion and lifeline for Cooper who suffered a disabling brain injury during Desert Storm.

But right now Tia is missing and Cooper is beside herself with worry.

On New Years Eve, Tia disappeared after bolting into dense woods off of Meherrin Road.

Since that time, Cooper has been scouring the woods with the help of local hunters - calling for the missing dog to no avail.

Earlier today, a possible sighting was reported in the Quail Reed subdivision in Cumberland County.

A woman spotted a dog who looked like Tia, but that dog bolted away.

Cooper spent the afteroon in the area, once again, walking and calling out for her dog.

Cooper thinks that someone may have picked Tia up and dropped her in Cumberland County after seeing a local news story about the missing dog.

When Tia disappeared, she was wearing an orange collar and tags (which may have fallen off during her travels). At the time, her owner's phone number was written on the collar in permanent ink as well.

Tia is not microchipped.