'I was shocked': Dog reunited with owner six months after being stolen in Saanich
Published Thursday, April 12, 2018 5:16PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 12, 2018 6:27PM PDT
An incredible reunion between a man and his best friend in the Cowichan Valley is proving the positive side of social media.
James Dumont adopted his dog Red from northern B.C. in September last year with his then-girlfriend Amoray Aloisi.
Just two days after Dumont adopted the redbone coonhound, he was snatched from a parking lot at the Tillicum Centre in Saanich, sparking a frantic search for the dog.
"I just want him back, everyone's crushed," a defeated Dumont told CTV News at the time. "I went up to the ferries thinking that maybe somebody was trying to get him off the island."
But time kept passing with no sign of the brand new pup, which had no microchip, tattoo or other identification.
A charity tasked with finding lost and escaped dogs, FLED, set out to help Dumont recover Red, posting images of the dog to social media.
Nothing turned up at first – until the organization once again sent the post to its thousands of followers two weeks ago.
For the first time in six months, FLED and Dumont had a solid lead on Red's whereabouts in Duncan, about a 45-minute drive from Victoria.
"We got a call from a girl saying she thinks she knows where the dog is, she notified the police," said FLED co-founder Gary Shade. "About five, six days ago, Red was picked up walking down the road not far from here."
The dog was taken to Coastal Animal Services in Duncan, where he was held for a week waiting for someone to claim him.
"When I saw him, I knew that a while ago there had been one that was missing," said shelter employee Judi Burnett. "Monday, we still had no owner, nothing posted on any of the sites."
Dumont and Aloisi were asked to come to the shelter to take a look. When they arrived, they were met with a flurry of kisses from the excited pup.
"I was shocked. I couldn't believe it," said Dumont. "We came here and were like, oh yeah, that's him alright…the only way I had to tell is there's just one little lighter spot [on him]."
A man and a mans best friend reunite in the #CowichanValley 7 months after it was stolen from his pickup truck from a mall parking lot in #Victoria. @CTVNewsYvonne will have complete story tonight at 5&6 @CTVNewsVI pic.twitter.com/QFTGVSzM4Y— Andrew Garland (@CTVNewsAndy) April 12, 2018
After six long months, Red is back home – and according to Dumont, it doesn't matter who stole him.
"Not really. I don't want to know. It is what it is. I missed six months with him, but we've got a long time to go, so I think we're alright," he said, adding that whoever took the dog appeared to have kept him in "great shape."
FLED and Dumont say it's a heartwarming example of the power of people.
"You just have to keep positive and keep the posters up, and you get endings like this," said Shade.
"The power of social media's unbelievable when it comes to something like this," said Dumont. "I didn't think he was ever going to come home."