It was a long time coming, but the story of a missing chocolate lab had a happy ending after a year and a half, thanks to Langley’s animal shelter.
The dog turned up at the Patti Dale Animal Shelter on Jan. 24, found near the building by staff, said shelter manager Sean Baker.
Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) staff found that although the dogs had no tags, it did have a breeder tattoo.
Calls to the Canadian Kennel Club revealed the name of the registered owner of Grizzly, a nine-year-old neutered male.
Unfortunately, one phone number for the owner was out of service, and the other led to a generic voicemail.
While the LAPS staff were looking for the original owner, they got a call from a nearby resident who said they had just lost a chocolate lab. That owner had just found the dog themselves six weeks before near Robertson Crescent and 256th Street.
After going door to door and putting up photos of Grizzly, they failed to find the owner, so they kept him, Baker said.
After several days, the original owner checked their old voicemail account and discovered that his dog had been located.
“As you can imagine, he and his family were over the moon with joy,” said Baker.
The dog turned out to have been lost in July, 2014 in Surrey from a home west of 176th Street.
Grizzly’s original owners spent a week looking in Surrey, and then expanded their search to Langley. There was an old missing pet report filed with the Patti Dale shelter from that date.
But from the date Grizzly went missing, the family had heard nothing about their pet.
Within minutes of hearing from LAPS, Grizzly’s family came to pick up their pet.
“The dog fully remembered the people and ran right up to the son,” said Baker. “He then greeted each member of the family with a lot of enthusiasm. It was very emotional and special.”
Baker believes Grizzly has had a busy year and a half.
They suspect he was found in Surrey by someone who then brought him to Langley. They either kept the dog or gave it to someone, until he went missing and was again taken in in the Robertson Crescent area.
“Although we are very glad the dog has finally gone home, I am very confident that this dog would have been home a long time sooner if it had been wearing a dog licence and if the finders had simply turned the dog in to an animal shelter,” Baker said.
People have the best intentions in keeping lost dogs, but it often results in them never being returned to their original owners or taking much longer, said Baker.