Five years ago, Renee Perry left her foster dog Bay, an 18-month-old basenji mix, at a pet sitter’s house in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Unfortunately, the shy rescue managed to escape her enclosure and took off. Renee searched tirelessly for her, but she couldn’t find her anywhere.
“There was never any sign of her,” Renee said. “We looked all summer. I always looked.” As the years went by, Renee never fully gave up hope that she would see Bay again, but it seemed increasingly unlikely that she’d return. It wasn’t until the spring of 2021 that Bay’s “walkabout” finally came to an end!
Three years ago, a family in Needham, a city about 10 miles from Framingham, started noticing more dog waste in their backyard than usual. They set up a camera and saw a white pup visiting their yard, only the dog looked so well-fed that they assumed she was a neighbor’s pet.
Fast-forward two more years and another missing dog poster got the homeowner’s attention. Volunteer Danielle Matthew of Missing Dogs Massachusetts spoke with the homeowner, and he agreed to let them set up a cage trap in his yard to see if their nighttime visitor was the missing canine.
“We thought this had to be someone’s dog because she was so plump,” Danielle said. “Then we got closer and she was covered with ticks and she had dirty ears, really dirty all over the place.”
The dog they trapped wasn’t that missing dog at all — it was Bay! After securing her, a quick scan of her microchip led them back to Renee. Somehow, Bay had managed to put on 10 pounds over the years, so at first, Renee didn’t even recognize her.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” she explained. “I saw the pictures, and it did look like her but her nose was darker; she just looked heavier; she just looked different.”
Once she realized that it was indeed her missing foster dog, Renee was overjoyed. “To get her back … I think it’s an understatement to say it’s a miracle because it’s just crazy. It’s surreal,” she said.
Bay was treated by a vet and found to be surprisingly healthy. They had to cut off her collar because she’d outgrown it, but aside from being filthy and covered in fleas and ticks, she was in pretty good shape.
“I’m amazed she survived five New England winters,” Danielle said. “But yeah, a resilient little dog.”
Renee said she’s “forever thankful” to the family who allowed the rescue organization to identify Bay. The pup seems pretty happy to be back at home, and Renee hopes their story will give hope to other families who are searching for their lost pets!
Share this story to celebrate Bay’s safe return.
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