Volunteers rescue senior stray dog — discover that she’s been missing for nearly 7 years

It’s important to look out for stray dogs. Many rescues go out of their way to make sure these wayward animals get the love and care they need.

And recently, when one volunteer team stepped in to help a homeless senior dog, they made an unbelievable discovery…

In November, Lost Dog Recovery UK South, a nonprofit volunteer team, got a call about a stray senior dog who had stopped traffic in West Sussex, England, according to a December 11 Facebook post.

The bystander saw the dog disappear into the woods, and after inquiring with nearby locals learned that the dog was a stray who had been around for years, fed by people in the neighborhood.

After getting the call, Lost Dog Recovery UK South set up a camera to learn more about the dog, leaving out food and establishing a feeding routine. The dog was clearly a senior, with graying eyebrows and muzzles, and locals told them the dog had been straying for “about ten years.”

May be an image of text
Facebook/Lost Dog Recovery UK South

The team decided to take the stray in for warmth and safety, and on December 9 set a trap by laying out a dinner of warm roast chicken. The dog took the bait and was taken to their kennels. The dog was reportedly “shocked and scared” at first but was also gentle.

To their surprise, Lost Dog Recovery discovered that the stray was microchipped — and what they found left them shocked: the dog had been missing since March 2017!

The senior dog — now identified as a 12-year-old Patterdale Terrier named Rose — went missing less than a day after she was first adopted nearly 7 years ago. It was a miracle that she had survived on her own for so long.

May be an image of dog
Facebook/Lost Dog Recovery UK South

“Although we will never know when exactly she came to settle in Crawley Down, what we do know is that she is finally SAFE, and now will not spend the rest of her senior years fending for herself in the cold and wet,” Lost Dog Recovery wrote.

But while many long-lost dog stories like this end in a happy reunion, sadly that was not the case this time. The rescue contacted Rose’s old adopted family, and while they were happy Rose was still alive, their situation had changed over the past 7 years and they were no longer capable of taking the dog in.

“They are thrilled she is safe and unhurt and, of course, sad they aren’t able to take her back. She will be going to a rescue who can give her what she needs and care for her in her old age.”

In an update, Lost Dog Recovery said that Rose was going to be cared for by Last Chance Animal Rescue in Edenbridge. It is not clear if Rose has been adopted yet (inquiries can be made on the rescue’s website) but there were reportedly many people interested in giving her a good home.

What an unbelievable story! It’s a miracle that Rose survived so long on her own and we’re so glad she’s now safe and in good hands. While it’s sad she won’t be able to reunite with her former family, we’re hopeful that she’ll find a great home soon.

Please share this story!