Family reunited with dog after missing for nearly 2 years: ‘It’s like a dream’

An Alabama family gets reunited with their dog nearly two years after it went missing. (Source: WALA)
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:02 PM EST
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DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA/Gray News) - A family in Alabama said they are still in shock after being able to reunite with their lost dog.

The Elleard family dog named Leroy ran away nearly two years ago. The family said he slipped out their back door the previous May.

WALA reports the family thought Leroy was gone for good after not finding him ever since, but now he’s back home, thanks to an animal control officer and a microchip.

The Elleard family captured their reunion on video.

“There were a lot of nights putting the kids to bed, telling them it’s going to be OK,” Robert Elleard said. “But now he [Leroy] is here and it’s so unexpected. It’s like a dream.”

On Monday, Daphne animal control officer Jessie Payne said he responded to a call regarding two stray dogs in someone’s backyard.

And one of the dogs happened to be Leroy. He was extremely matted.

Payne said he took both dogs to the shelter and found that Leroy was microchipped.

“It played a huge role,” Payne said. “I never would have known who he was or where he came from without the microchip or the fact he was missing.”

Karen Elleard said she remembered the moment she got the call from animal control.

“I got a call, and I heard, ‘This is officer Payne, did you lose a dog?’” Karen Elleard said. “And I just couldn’t believe it.”

Leroy was given a haircut and jumped back into his old life in perfect health.

Officer Payne said it was an unbelievable reunion.

“It was amazing,” Payne said. “I don’t get opportunities like that much, for a happy ending.”

Animal control officers said Leroy’s traveling partner has since been named Sherlock. He was not microchipped but will soon be up for adoption if his owner doesn’t come forward.

“We really don’t know how long they traveled together, I know Sherlock is a little older than Leroy, but we’ll see,” Karen Elleard said.

The dogs ended up being found about 2 miles from the Elleard home.

The family thanked the community for being so invested in finding Leroy and recommended everyone get their pets microchipped.