Florida woman reunited with missing dog after almost two years

Photo by Zeinab Najm. Ocala, Fla., resident Debi Petranck reunites with her dog, Zeus, at the Dearborn Animal Shelter April 12 after he went missing almost two years ago.

Photo by Zeinab Najm. Ocala, Fla., resident Debi Petranck reunites with her dog, Zeus, at the Dearborn Animal Shelter April 12 after he went missing almost two years ago.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — When Debi Petranck received a phone call informing her that her dog, Zeus, had been found after nearly two years in Dearborn, she dropped everything and headed north.

On Aug. 21, 2014 as Petranck left her subdivision in Ocala, Fla., she noticed that Zeus followed her, as he normally does and wanders to nearby Burger King or McDonald’s.

That day, he did not return home. Instead, a man was seen taking Zeus from a group of children at Burger King. He later moved to Dearborn, Petranck recalled.

“I placed ads in all the local newspapers and radios and hung up flyers with his picture … in hopes of finding him,” she said. “Thankfully he has a microchip and he was located that way.”

On April 5, Petranck received the phone call from the Dearborn Animal Shelter after Zeus was taken and scanned for his microchip after he was found at a local bar.

She then packed up her things and made the almost 16-hour drive to Dearborn to be reunited with Zeus.

“I drove all day and night only taking a couple of breaks before getting to Dearborn,” Petranck said. “I was worried he wouldn’t remember me and how the previous owner treated him.”

The man attempted to claim the dog at the shelter, but was informed that the original owner was already on her way to reunite with Zeus.

Animal shelter employees helped bring the two back together on April 12, and Petranck said it was a moment she will never forget.

“I am so grateful for everyone who was involved because they were the right people to make this happen,” she said. “I’ve missed him so much and am excited to take him home to make up for lost time.”

Petranck stressed the importance of getting a microchip for animals because what happened to Zeus could happen to any pet.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)

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