This rescue organization from Illinois reunited a missing dog with its owner after almost a year of separation.
Last year’s Thanksgiving celebration turned into a nightmare for Kate Olson of New Hampshire, England, when she lost her best friend. She was visiting her boyfriend’s parents in Arnold, Missouri, when her Golden Retriever Walter—whom she described as an anxious dog—slipped out of his collar and took off while out on a walk.
Kate, who got Walter as an 8-week-old puppy, extended her stay in St. Louis for two weeks to retrace the dog’s steps. She said it was hard to go back home knowing that her dog was missing. She sought the help of the community by printing and displaying flyers in the neighborhood.
After a few months, Kate began receiving calls saying they’ve seen Walter, giving her hope that she would soon find her beloved pet. She then flew back to St. Louis in January to continue her search.
“I just want to know if he’s okay. I want him to know that I’m not giving up on him. I’ll never give up on him,” she said at the time.
However, the dog was still nowhere to be seen. Kate knew she had to do more, so she created the “Where’s Walter?” Facebook page and enlisted the help of animal rescue groups in locating the lost dog.
Kate spent an estimated $1,000 for the cost of the fliers and the trips she took back and forth from New Hampshire to St. Louis.
After 10 months with no signs of Walter, Kate began losing hope. That’s until she got a message on November 13 from a member of the Facebook group she created. That person saw a post about a dog sighting and sent it to her.
Thankfully, the dog was Walter!
Kate jumped on the next flight to St. Louis, and, coincidentally, Walter was caught by a rescue organization in Belleville, Illinois, called Lost Paws Trapping three hours after she landed.
Finally, Kate was able to hold Walter in her arms Friday night.
“13 days shy of being on the run for an entire year; living in the woods, avoiding everyone he met and finally on of all days Friday the 13th, Walter has been trapped,” the group wrote in a Facebook post.
“I had to keep my composure just because … I was in shock,” Kate described the moment she saw Walter again.
Lost Paws Trapping is a rescue organization run by volunteers who rely solely on donations. You can view the touching clip of Kate and Walter’s reunion in the comments section of this Facebook post.
Kate is grateful to all the people involved, especially to the Lost Paws Trapping volunteers, who she calls her “heroes.”
“Not everybody does have this ending,” Kate acknowledged. “I never in a million years thought that I would be one of them.”
Apparently, Walter had been living on his own in the woods for the past year. Thankfully, he seemed physically unharmed and should be fine.
Since he was rescued, Walter has enjoyed two baths and a special treatment from K-9 Grooming in Oakville. The group was nice enough to give both treatments to him free of charge.
Walter is also scheduled for a vet appointment to make sure that he’s in tip-top health.
Since Walter has gotten back, Kate noticed a change in his behavior – a good one, fortunately.
“He has been such a little love. He is the same sweet boy he was before and maybe even sweeter because he has missed getting loved on!” she told 5 On Your Side.
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See the news video about Walter below: