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Missouri man reunited with missing disabled dog on New Year’s Day


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    EAST ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV ) — After 10 months of searching high and low for his missing dog, a Missouri man was reunited with his pooch as the new year began.

In February of 2020, Dylan Summers’ disabled dog Athena disappeared from his yard in Bourbon, Mo. Athena was hit by a car and was recovering from amputation surgery.

“I searched everywhere for her and posted online but no one came forward,” Summers said. “I had suspicions that she was stolen but I couldn’t confirm it. I was so worried about her.”

Feeling defeated, he decided it was time to start looking for a new dog to adopt. After scrolling through an East St. Louis pet adoption website, Gateway Pet Guardians (GPG), he saw a familiar face.

Athena was listed for adoption under the name “Miss-A-Toe”.

The GPG director Alisha Vianello said she got an voicemail from Summers later that night.

“It was about 9 p.m. on the night of December 30th and I just happened to check my voicemail before bed and there was a call from Dylan stating that we had his dog!,” Vianello. “I called him back immediately and was so happy to learn that the dog we had named “Miss-A-Toe” was actually his missing dog, Athena!”

The agency had taken Athena from the St. Clair County Animal Control in Illinois early December. She was found at a property with other dogs.

“Everyone involved in her rescue had been so puzzled as to how a dog who not only was spayed but was also healthy and had received a life saving surgery was on the property with other dogs who seemed likely to have never received veterinary care” said Vianello. “All the missing pieces really came together when I spoke to Dylan. The next day I contacted her foster family, who was thrilled for her and arranged a time for everyone to meet at the GPG facility”.

Within 48 hours, the Missouri man was reunited with Athena on New Year’s Day.

“I was so happy to hear that she was safe and doing well and being reunited with her was incredible” said Summers. “She is already settled back in at home and it’s like she never left. I am so appreciative of Gateway Pet Guardians for getting her back home to me.”

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