Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

13-Year-Old Rescues Missing Senior Dog & Helps Him Find His Way Back Home

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on June 21, 2021

When their small dog named Jersey went missing, Amy Cerelli and her boyfriend panicked. It was unlike the senior pup, and he had a hard enough time getting around as is. Even after lots of flyers, social media posts, and late-night searches, nothing happened. Then, a young hero came to the rescue.

13-year-old Tyion Hepner found Jersey while he was playing outside. He could tell the pup needed help, so he took him in and cared for him while he tried to figure out where Jersey belonged. By chance, he ran into Jersey’s family soon after.

Jersey missing
Image: @blueridgedog/Facebook

A Confused Runaway

Jersey went missing while Cerelli was cleaning out her garage. Suddenly, she noticed that the pup wasn’t in any of his usual spots, so she feared the worst. Before long, Cerelli and her boyfriend began their search for the missing canine.

“We went out canvassing the neighborhood. We were out until about 3 in the morning with flashlights and we were squeaking his ball looking for him,” said Cerelli.

The couple even worked with friends, neighbors, and law enforcement, but nothing seemed to help. That’s when an unexpected hero unknowingly found the missing dog. Hepner says he saw the dog while he was playing outside, so he followed him.

Teen finds lost dog
Image: Screenshot,

“I followed Jersey all the way and I noticed he was with nobody and he started following me,” said Hepner.

Boy Shows Kindness

Hepner brought Jersey home with him, but his mom wasn’t pleased. The teen had to beg her to let him care for the dog and help him find his home. He knew that Jersey needed help, so he was willing to fight for him. His mom finally gave in, so Hepner gave the dog a bath and cared for him.

Then, about two days later, a miracle happened. While Hepner was outside, he overheard Cerelli’s boyfriend describing Jersey to an officer. He quickly rushed over to share the good news.

Woman reunited with lost dog
Image: Screenshot,

“My friend and I and my father were up the hill and my Dad was honking the horn cause my friend and I were off into the woods and we ran back and he said ‘They found Jersey, go back to the house,'” said Cerelli.

Now, Jersey is home safe and sound. Cerelli says she’s so grateful for Hepner and for everyone else who helped look for Jersey. Not all kids would willingly give up a dog they found, but Hepner knew he had to do what’s right. His kindness could’ve saved sweet Jersey’s life.

Featured Image: Screenshot,

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog