Emotional Reunion: Tears Flow as Family Discovers Their Beloved Long-Lost Dog at the Shelter.

When Juicee arrived at Austin Animal Center in June 2022, shelter staff and volunteers thought she was just another stray dog. She wasn’t chipped and didn’t have any identification tags, so she was held on a three-day stray hold and then made available for adoption.

After spending over 300 days at the shelter without any applications, Juicee’s photo was shared on Austin Animal Center’s Facebook page to help her find a potential family.

“Juicee was in great condition when she was first brought in,” Kelsey Cler, the marketing and communications manager for Austin Animal Center, told The Dodo. “She was hesitant with strangers and showed some touch sensitivity. Her kennel presence wasn’t great, which contributed to her long stay.”

After spending some time at the shelter, Juicee became much more trusting. “She had a group of volunteers who handled her, and she loved everyone once she was introduced to them,” Cler said, adding that she also liked playing with other dogs at the shelter.

But, of course, like all their shelter dogs, the staff wanted Juicee to have a home of her own. So when her photo was shared on social media, fingers were crossed that the right people would see it. And they did.

A year earlier, Juicee’s family had been told by a neighbor that their dog had died. “There can be a lot of prejudice around pit bull ownership,” Cler said. “We can really only speculate on why the neighbor didn’t want the dog reunited with her family.” The family moved to Miami, but one family member was still part of a Facebook group called Cubanos de Austin, where Juicee’s photo was shared.

When they realized their beloved dog was still alive, the family hopped in the car and drove 20 hours to Austin to be reunited with their long-lost pup.

“Juicee was SO HAPPY!” Cler said about the reunion. “No hesitation or touch sensitivity with her family — she was all over them, and they were all over her.”

At the reunion, Juicee’s family was in disbelief. “They just couldn’t believe it,” Cler said. “They really thought she was dead. Lots of tears … They headed straight back to Miami with her.”

Juicee is now making up for lost time and couldn’t be happier to be back with those who love her most.

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