A three-legged dog who had been missing for months has finally returned home to his owners, bringing a happy ending to a long search effort.
Last September, Harrison Sibley, from Louisiana, traveled to Sevier County, Tennessee to escape from Hurricane Ida. He took along his beloved dog, a 10-year-old German Shepherd mix named Bear, according to WVLT.
But the trip took a heartbreaking turn when Bear went missing on a hike. Harrison looked everywhere, but Bear was gone. It was a drastic situation: Bear was lost far from home, in an unfamiliar state and mountainous terrain.
On top of that, Bear only has three legs: He lost a paw a few years ago after being attacked by another dog.
Harrison was determined to get his friend back, but it wouldn’t be easy. Since Bear went missing so far from home, the search required him to keep coming back to Tennessee over the following months. “I came up to Tennessee four times since then, I drove three, flew once,” he told WVLT.
But it was worth it to get his best friend back safe and sound.
“Bear has been my best friend since I can remember,” Harrison said. “We’ve gone through everything in the world together.”
The family put up signs across the area and embarked on an exhaustive search that went on for months. They offered a $1,500 reward. But thankfully, they weren’t searching alone: the local community helped them search for Bear.
“I’m just amazed at how everyone came together without knowing each other and how they just; they’re going to find Bear,” said Lisa Licciardi, Harrison’s mother.
Jim Holscher was one good samaritan who joined the search effort, volunteering to use his drone to search overhead. “I’ve never used my drone to find a dog. But I heard he was three-legged and it touched me,” he told People.
After months with no leads, they got a promising sign when local Bear Aten and his wife Trish spotted a three-legged dog on their security camera. After seeing a Facebook page dedicated to finding the lost dog, they realized it could’ve been Bear.
“We’re checking any leads no matter how small they are to see if there’s any possibility that was him or not,” Aten told WVLT.
Finally, after six months, multiple trips across state lines and countless flyers, the story reached a happy ending: Bear was finally found!
After spotting the dog on their security camera, the couple managed to trap the dog, finally letting Harrison reunite with his friend.
“They called Harrison at 3 in the morning and he drove straight there. It was the greatest moment,” Jim Holscher told People.
“It was so, it was like pure emotion it was just like I saw him I guess the first thing in my head was just like hold him, grab him,” Harrison told WVLT.
After reuniting with his long-lost dog, Harrison finally brought him back home to Louisiana.
“It’s been six months of just growth, trying to grow as a person you know going through all the pain and I was just blessed enough to get him back and grow through all of it so I’m just happy to have him again in my arms… I’m just thanking God that everything has gone back to normal.”
We’re so glad Bear is finally home after being missing for so long. Thank you to everyone who helped find this beautiful three-legged dog!
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