PALM HARBOR, FLA. — A Pinellas County couple reunited a pet owner with her dog after finding the lost pet in Georgia.
Miles McKinney and his fiancée, Rachel Newman, found a dog wandering around a gas station about a week ago.
The couple visited family in South Carolina and was heading home to Florida. They stopped at a gas station in Georgia.
"The dog did growl a little bit and came back to me and started kissing my leg. She allowed me to pick her up and that's when I took her inside to see if anyone knew whose dog it was or if it had been around," said Rachel Newman.
The couple said they asked everyone at the gas station if the dog belonged to them. They said when they could not find the dog's owner, they took the dog with them.
"I felt bad taking the dog, but it’s either, we’re taking the dog or like you’re not going to find her, someone’s going to take her and not care or she's going to get like ran over. The highway was right there," said Miles McKinney.
Newman said she hoped the dog had a microchip. The couple returned to Pinellas County and the next day they took the small dog to a veterinarian. She did not have a microchip. Newman said the collar did not have a phone number or contact information. The couple took the dog to Suncoast Animal League, an animal shelter in Pinellas County.
"We knew we wanted to find her owner, but we knew we didn't have the right resources," said Newman.
Suncoast Animal League spent days looking for the dog's owner. A volunteer searched social media. Eventually, she located a Facebook page for missing pets in Georgia. She connected the dots.
Terri Wells said her dog somehow slipped out of her car while she was filling up at that Georgia gas station. When she realized her dog was gone, she returned to the gas station, but she could not find her dog.
"She sleeps the whole time. I didn't notice her missing until I stopped again to let her go potty and she wasn't there then I fell apart thinking about all the things I did wrong," said Wells.
Wells was traveling from Minnesota where she lives to see a friend in Central Florida. She said she was heartbroken.
"Never thought I'd see her again just because she's so sweet who would want to give her up," she said.
The couple reunited Wells with her dog,"Honey," on Thursday nearly a week after she ran away.
"I can't even express my gratitude for sure," said Wells.
The Suncoast Animal League microchipped "Honey." Wells said she learned an important lesson. Pet owners should always microchip their animals and keep their contact information updated.
The Suncoast Animal League said it will host a microchip event on December 4. The animal shelter will microchip up to 100 dogs or cats for free.
"I'm just floored. I'm blown away every time, I think about it. It's a miracle," she added.