Shelter’s new approach reunites dog with owner

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new program at the Kent County Animal Shelter is working to save more dogs from being put down, using Facebook to place them in good homes.

It’s already working. A man who lost his dog on the other side of the state was able to find her though one of the posts.

“I wish she could talk so she could tell us what happened,” owner Arthur Watson said. “Me, my mom, my dad, we are just sitting here going, ‘How?'”

Watson lives in Yale in the Thumb region with his husky Princess. She got lost in March when some unexpected storms rolled through the area.

“I was trying to bring her back in the house. Well, the storm kind of rolled in kind of fast on us and she slipped her collar and bolted cause she got scared,” Watson told 24 Hour News 8 in a Thursday interview via video chat.

Watson looked and looked for her without success. He tried getting help online, but heard nothing for months.

Six months later and more than 170 miles away, Princess was found running around downtown Grand Rapids.

“She was pretty dirty, hadn’t been brushed for a while, so it looked like she kind of had been out there for a while,” Kent County Animal Shelter employee Claire Barker said.

Still, she was in good health. Workers cleaned Princess up and took her picture, posting it on the Kent County Animal Shelter‘s Facebook page.

The day she came in just happened to be the first day of the new program. As part of it, each dog found is posed, photographed and posted on the Facebook page.

Minutes after a photo of Princess appeared online, someone saw it and contacted Watson.

“I was like, ‘That’s my dog.’ There is no doubt, that is my dog. All the markings matched,” he said.

Watson called the shelter and picked Princess up Monday.

“In all actuality, it’s a miracle,” he shared. “It goes to show miracles do happen and never give up. If I would never thought to put it on Facebook in the beginning and the right people at the right time weren’t going to see it, then she wouldn’t be here,” he said.

How Princess wound up Grand Rapids remains a mystery.



Kent County Animal Shelter

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