Service Dog Shelby, Lost in Tennessee, Found 3 Months Later in South Carolina

When Army Paratrooper Veteran Brandon got out of the service he lived in Alaska for some time where he and his good friend Russell went looking to find him a companion dog.  He found just that in a coonhound puppy he named Shelby.  More than a pet, Shelby became Brandon’s PTSD service dog. And so, when Brandon moved to Tennessee about a year and a half later, Shelby accompanied him.

Brandon’s friend Russell with Shelby. 

Landing a new job with demanding and unusual hours, one weekend Brandon took Shelby to his uncle’s home in the country to spend some time.  Shelby had her pink and brown camo collar with tag on, and Brandon cautioned that she be kept on leash when she went outside.   Unfortunately, she was let out without one, and in short order she dashed off (possibly looking for Brandon or in typical hound fashion) and did not return!

Over the next three months, Brandon feared the worse after no leads about a found coonhound in/around the rural area where she went missing.

But luck was on Brandon and Shelby’s side … she was microchipped when he got her spayed!   That small grain of rice size device was responsible for her identification a few days ago, when (City of Charleston animal control) serving St. (Johns Island) John’s Island in SC picked her up as a stray and took her in to Charleston Animal Society (CAS)!

 

According to CAS Spokesperson Kay Hyman, processing Shelby at CAS was a bit difficult.  Clearly she had been through alot!  She was flea and tick infested and uncomfortable, and who knows what she had gone through during her 3 month trek somehow leading her 600 miles from home where she was found.

Despite her situation, a microchip was detected and contact info gathered.  However the phone number for Brandon was no longer in service.   Thankfully,  Russell was also listed as a contact, and he was successfully contacted.   He could hardly wait to contact Brandon with the amazing news!   But Brandon’s rather new position and difficult hours were going to make it hard for him to get the time off to make the round trip 10 hour drive to go pick her up.  Despite the distance, Russell was prepared to travel from Alaska to assist!  However, Brandon’s girlfriend Addie offered to make the trip to “bring Shelby home”!

CAS announced the exciting news on their FB page:

Shelby the coonhound had been missing for three months! Her owner was in the Army … for 9 years and when he got out received Shelby from a friend. She is a certified PTSD dog and was terribly missed! How Shelby made it from Linden Tennessee to Johns Island SC then ended up at Charleston Animal Society is still a mystery! If not for her microchip she may not have had this very happy ending to her journey! #adoptatcas#Microchip

Hyman notes that in this situation, Brandon was fortunate to have another person with a stable phone number listed as another contact and promotes this for others to be sure they add, along with remembering to update their own contact info whenever it changes.


It didn’t take long for this great story to hit the local airwaves!  The next day,  the exciting news soon hit the airwaves on WCBD News 2 with a story by Mayci McLeod

 


Seeing Is Believing

Before heading home, Brandon was able to see for himself that Shelby is safe and will soon be home, and let Shelby know he would be there when she arrived.

Shelby the coonhound had been missing for three months! Her owner was in the Army for almost 9 years and when he got out received Shelby from a friend. She is a certified PTSD dog and was terribly missed! How Shelby made it from Linden Tennessee to Johns Island SC then ended up at Charleston Animal Society is still a mystery! If not for her microchip she may not have had this very happy ending to her journey! #adoptatcas #Microchip

Posted by Charleston Animal Society on Thursday, July 20, 2017

Distraught as Shelby was at CAS, Addie’s foresight to bring a shirt of Brandon’s with her proved to be a game changer.  Once Shelby sniffed the shirt she clearly made the connection, and in short order was on her way back to Brandon in Tennessee!

PTSD dog reunited with family after being lost 600 miles away

Addie just drove straight for 9 hours to Charleston to retrieve her boyfriend, Brandon's PTSD dog Shelby! She was lost over 3 months ago in Linden Tennessee! Wound up in Johns Island SC! #adoptatcas #lostdog

Posted by Charleston Animal Society on Thursday, July 20, 2017

Heading Home


Together Again

When Shelby arrived home and saw Brandon she head butted showing her delight to be back with her buddy!

Brandon happy to have Shelby accompanying him on a car ride.

Shelby finally able to rest peacefully at home, being given the royal treatment with a big bone of her own! 

While she awaits a visit with the vet this week, Brandon quickly worked to rid her of her fleas and ticks.   In addition to her fur loss due to the infestation, she has lost a bit of weight  and her digestive system is still adjusting to a regular diet.   But one thing is for sure … if Shelby could talk she’d likely say “there’s no place like home”!

Thanks to CAS and Brandon for providing photos and video, and to WCBD News 2 for the shared video of their story coverage.


Story Take-Aways:

  • Microchip your pet, and be sure that you keep your contact info updated AND have additional contacts including one who is unlikely to have frequent contact changes.
  • Keep a collar with visible ID tag on your pet.  While it didn’t play a role in the reunion here, it can and often does!
  • When leaving your pet with someone else, give directions about their care and feel secure they will follow your instructions.

Share with others:

  • Post and share alerts on HeLPingLostPets.com, a free registry that allows pets to be search across State lines and with provides a network of expert volunteers working behind-the-scenes for free to reunite pets.
  • Join our Unite2Reunite initiative to be a part of the community in your area!

Keep stories coming our way!  Email us YOUR reunion story!


  Remember to microchip, register,
and keep your contact info updated!

Even if your pet has gone missing and it’s been some time,
you might one day get that miracle call!

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To visit the home page for our
Monday Microchip Miracles blog
click here to read other happy reunion tales!

#LoveTagChip YOUR pet.

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