News 12 at 6 o'clock/ Friday, August 16th, 2013
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- It's a story that's hard to believe. A North Augusta woman takes in a stray dog then finds out it's not really a stray. It actually traveled more than 500 miles to get here from it's old home.
Animal rescue volunteer Cheryl Landers fell in love with Finn the first time she saw him, "Right around July 4th we got a call from another rescue out in Grovetown and they had this dog show up at their property," said Landers.
With no room the rescue needed a place to send him and Cheryl volunteered.
"We don't normally take in strays, but there was just something about him so I was like I'll take him," she said.
He was underweight with scratches and marks on his face. Everyone assumed he was a stray, but soon Cheryl realized there was something different.
"I started feeding him and taking care of him and I started noticing the more he was in my house, the more he looked like someone had loved him at some point," she said.
So last week she took him in to get scanned and says what she found was something she never expected.
"Sure enough he had a microchip in him and the original owners had lost him 13 months ago in Gulfport Mississippi.
Cheryl quickly mapquested it and realized it was 540 miles away.
"I couldn't believe it," she said. "It was moving. It was just something you just couldn't imagine that he had been gone that long and gone that far," she said.
So she got the name and number and called the owner. "She started crying on the phone. It had been 13 months and she had pretty much given up hope on him," said Landers.
Finn was just a puppy when he was spooked by fireworks and ran away.
Cheryl says this a lesson to all pet owners on why it's so important to microchip your dog.
"It's a very easy procedure," she said. "Most places, shelters and rescues will do it at a reduced price."
And in the end it could change a life.
"You don't even think to check other states and he's proof that it can be anywhere," she said.
She's learned a lot in the past week since getting in contact with the original owner. The dog she knows as Finn was originally named Ace. She's gotten to see pictures of the dog before it ran away.
The original owner is in the Navy and deploys. She also has a brand new baby so Cheryl is keeping the dog, but they are keeping in touch over social media sending pictures and videos for now.