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Family That Loses Dog Goes To Shelter To Adopt New Pet, Finds A Familiar Face

Written by: Stephanie Maguire
Stephanie Maguire is a writer for She loves animals so much that she started her own pet-sitting business in 2017, and goes out of her way to point-out and pet every single dog she sees.Read more
| Published on November 9, 2022

After three long months of searching, and not a single clue to help them find their lost dog, a family finally decided to head to their local shelter to adopt another furry family member. But then, despite seeing dozens of dogs, there wasn’t any kind of a connection. 

That was until they noticed a picture on the wall, and realized that their beloved dog was actually there waiting for them!

Dante with family

Dante Goes Missing

It was while on a walk that Dante, a Corgi/Shepherd mix dashed off after another dog and disappeared. Once she heard what happened, Ruth, Dante’s mom, was beside herself and raced home from work to try to help find him. 

Ruth adopted Dante right after her eldest daughter was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and he had become a source of comfort for their entire family. 

“When Dante disappeared, I felt like a part of me was gone,” said Ruth.

But despite scouring their neighborhood, and even going door to door to ask all of her neighbors, nobody had seen DanteThey searched everywhere they could think of for three solid months, and then moved to a new town, 20 miles away.

It was then that they started to face the fact that they may never see their sweet boy again. They had no idea Dante was closer than they ever imagined.

A Familiar Face On The Wall

When Dante went missing, he wasn’t wearing a collar and did not have a microchip for rescuers to scan. So even though the shelter staff searched their local missing dog listings, they were unable to track down his family. So, naturally, they tried to find Dante a new forever home. 

“He just wasn’t interested in meeting new people. He shut down during all his meet-and-greets, there was just a little bit of a sadness about him. We kept talking about it in staff meetings: Why isn’t this beautiful, playful boy getting adopted? We couldn’t figure it out. And then, of course, we realized he was waiting for his family,” said Reasa Currier, the director of Fairfax County’s Department of Animal Sheltering.

Then, one day, after moving nearby, Dante’s family walked into the Fairfax County Animal Shelter, in search of a new furry family member. Together, Ruth and her children looked at all the dogs, and still didn’t feel like they found the right fit. But on the way out the door, Ruth’s 10-year-old daughter spotted Dante’s photo on the wall.

Soldier Poster

An Unexpected Family Reunion

While Ruth was doubtful it was their dog, her daughter was sure, and absolutely insisted it was him. So they asked to see the dog that was found as a stray, and named “Soldier.” Only it turns out that Soldier wasn’t any ordinary stray. It was Dante! He had somehow made his way 20 miles from where he was lost, and was waiting for his family at a shelter near where they moved.

Instantly upon laying his eyes on his family, Dante was ecstatic. He excitedly ran between them, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

“He just started pulling, he was wiggling all over. We immediately knew that this was Dante’s family. They were crying. Dante was just jumping. And he was clearly thrilled to see his family again,” said Reasa.

It’s an absolute miracle that Dante and his family were able to be reunited! I mean, what are the chances? 

But you can increase the odds that you and your lost pet will be reunited if you make sure they’re chipped, and you consistently keep your information up to date.

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