Teen Reunites with Lost Pit Bull After 11 Months


You can take every precaution to keep your pet dogs safe, but at one point, they still run away, and that does not make you a failure as a pet parent. One pet microchip company alleged that in every three pets, one goes missing translating to around 10 million lost cats and dogs every year. While some of these lost pets are found in shelters, only 15% of dogs without microchips or other identification are reunited with their owners. It was, therefore, incredible news when a teen reunited with his lost Pit Bull after 11 months. The teenager had given up hope, but thanks to social media, the dog finally went back home. Here is more regarding this heartwarming story.

No More Taking Things for Granted

Jake Free, an 18-year-old teenager who lives in Flint, Michigan, is still in disbelief after reuniting with his lost Pit Bull, Vanessa, that had been missing for 11 months. Free became a pet parent to Vanessa when he was only 14, and the dog was 4. The puppy became part of the Free family, and they even got used to Vanessa’s disappearances – she would be away from home for an hour or less but always came back. So, in Summer 2021, when Vanessa disappeared and an hour passed without her return, Free knew something was wrong. The Free family frantically searched for Vanessa, calling out her name in the neighborhood and asking if anyone had seen her. They even printed flyers of “Lost Dog,” but their efforts were futile. Days of searching turned into months and the hope of ever finding Vanessa faded. Free could hardly sleep wondering if his best friend was alright, but with time, he started getting used to the possibility that they would never find her. A ray of hope came through a Facebook post that Free’s mother spotted of a person who had posted a picture of a lost dog. She could hardly wrap her head around the fact that possibly, the lost dog was Vanessa. After all, it had been nearly 11 months since they last saw her, so the chances she was still alive were slim to none. Thankfully, it turned out that the dog in the social media post was indeed Vanessa. She had been found about 10 miles from the Free’s residence, and immediately after the canine saw Free, she ran up to him. It was a scene straight from a movie as the two best friends reunited. Emotions ran high, and Free revealed that now that he had been given another chance to be with Vanessa, he would treat each moment like the last. The incident has taught him that you never know how long you have been with someone and that he should never take it for granted. Most importantly, Free is ensuring there is never a repeat occurrence of Vanessa running away from home by locking the gates.

It Could Have Been Worse

As Free counts his blessings, he must be grateful that Vanessa did not come into any harm while she was away. In 2017, Mail Online published an article about a woman, Christin Ormond, a Colorado resident who lost her two Pit Bulls, B.B. and Calypso. According to the author, Ormond noticed the dogs had gone missing on April 17, 2017, and immediately acted by posting the dogs’ photos and their descriptions. Her husband had let the dogs out of the house to relieve themselves. The Pit Bulls then took the opportunity to run away from home by jumping over the fence. Unfortunately for Ormond, there was no happy ending of her sweet dogs running to her open arms. Instead, she found them dead by the railroad tracks a few miles away from her home. The worst thing about the deaths is that they were not accidents; Calypso had puncture wounds whereas B.B.’s legs had been burned. Both canines had also been decapitated, and although police suspected animal abuse, they did not make any arrests. All that Ormond could do was cremate the bodies and be at peace that her fur babies were no longer in pain. Dogs disappearing is usually no cause for alarm for most dog parents since the dogs always return home. However, sometimes they do not run away from home but are dognapped. That is what happened to Baxter, as reported by The Guardian. Baxter was outside of a store after her owner tied her up to buy a few things, but upon going back to pick the dog, Baxter was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, Baxter was found alive and reunited with her owner but imagining what the dognapper had planned to do to the dog sends chills down the spine of any dog parent.

Why Do Dogs Run Away from Home?

Free has sworn to do his best to keep his home secure to prevent Vanessa from disappearing again. Still, running away from home is sometimes not because the dog has seen the gate is unlocked. According to The Spruce Pets, your dog could be searching for a mate. A male dog that can sense a female in heat will do whatever it takes to go and try his luck, meaning that if you neuter your dog, your male canine will be naturally driven to mate. Alternatively, it could be that your dog has spotted something that aroused his/ her interest. A squirrel or any potential prey is reason enough for your dog to leave the confines of your compound. Other times your dog is bored, and patrolling the neighborhood is the ideal way to kill time before returning home. Moreover, your canine could be scared and thus runs away to seek refuge. Loud noises such as fireworks and thunderstorms are a dog’s worst nightmare. Therefore, any opening, like an open window, allows them to escape and seek solace elsewhere.

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