When Little Buddy was discovered roaming the streets of Raytown, Missouri, and brought to Midwest Animal ResQ, he appeared like any other stray in need of care.
“Although a bit dirty, he was in good health,” shared Erin Morse, the founding director of Midwest Animal ResQ, with The Dodo. “Initially, he was a little apprehensive at the shelter, but he quickly melted the hearts of our staff and volunteers.”
Unbeknownst to Little Buddy, he harbored a remarkable secret—he had been missing for a staggering six years.
Little Buddy exhibited no fear towards the shelter staff and eagerly sought emotional connections from the moment he arrived.
“Every time someone passed by his cage, he would whine and paw at the door, yearning to be let out,” Morse explained. “He swiftly won over the hearts of everyone here.”
Before his arrival at Midwest Animal ResQ, the animal control officers who found Little Buddy discovered that he had a microchip. They initiated chip alerts using the attached contact information, but initially received no response.
“The owners initially dismissed the email alerts, believing them to be scams due to the substantial passage of time,” Morse revealed. “However, once we personally contacted the previous owner by phone and informed him that we had his dog, he was overjoyed.”
“When we learned that he had been missing for nearly six years and was found far away from home, we could hardly believe it!” Morse exclaimed.
Little Buddy was adopted from a rescue organization in 2017 and resided with his dad near Springfield, Missouri, until he went missing. According to local news station KMBC, his dad distributed flyers and combed the neighborhood in search of him, but to no avail. Additionally, no one reached out using Little Buddy’s microchip information.
Thus, when Midwest Animal ResQ reached out, Little Buddy’s dad promptly embarked on a four-hour journey to reunite with his long-lost canine companion. When the two finally met, it was as if no time had passed at all.
“Little Buddy made a beeline for his dad, wagging his tail vigorously!” Morse shared. “The moment he caught a familiar scent and heard his dad’s voice, he immediately showered him with affectionate licks. By then, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”
The team at Midwest Animal ResQ rarely has the opportunity to witness such heartwarming reunions, making this particular one all the more extraordinary.
“Seeing such a beautiful reunion with someone who never lost hope of finding their Little Buddy truly warmed our hearts,” Morse expressed. “It was even more incredible that Buddy’s dad deeply valued animal adoption and microchipping. It felt almost too good to be true!”
Morse emphasized that Little Buddy’s story serves as a compelling reminder of the importance of microchipping pets, urging pet owners to keep their contact information up to date, regardless of how long their pet has been missing.
For those who are currently searching for their missing furry companions, Morse believes that Little Buddy’s story instills hope and possibility. She affirms, “Never lose hope that one day your Little Buddy might be found!”