Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have disastrous results. There’s one dog in Florida that knows that now better than anyone.
Getting picked up by Animal Control is every dog’s worst nightmare. Even though a lot of stories happy endings, far too many don’t.
With shelters and humane societies filled to overflowing with unwanted animals, well over half the animals that go in don’t come out alive.
One dog that the shelter started calling Bronson had been picked up when he was seen walking a dirt road near Tampa. He was with other dogs that were picked up at the same time.
They were listed as strays because they had on no identifying collars and weren’t microchipped. Ordinarily, this might have been the end of the line for a dog like Bronson that wasn’t the breed type that is ordinarily chosen quickly by adopters.
But, Bronson got lucky. Hurricane Irma started heading for his part of the world. Usually, that might not have seemed like a good thing. But, this time, for Bronson at least, it was a lifesaver.
The shelter decided to evacuate all the stray animals in their care to other parts of the country. This would make room for the misplaced animals they knew would need help after the hurricane hit.
Bronson, the dogs he’d been picked up with and many others went with rescue volunteers to a shelter in Blount County, TN. The volunteers spent a lot of time with the dogs, reassuring them that it would all be ok.
All of the dogs seemed excited to see the humans every day. All of them except Bronson.
They noticed that Bronson didn’t do much except sit in his kennel and moan. As he became more and more depressed the staff began to get worried.
The Animal Rescue Site says, “Kellie Bachman, a volunteer at the shelter, went into Bronson’s kennel to comfort him. But he continued to lie on his back and cry. She put him on his lap and rocked him back and forth, trying not to cry herself.”
She knew that Bronson was grieving. Far more than the average stray does when he finds himself behind bars. They are sometimes sad about the situation, but, Bronson’s depression went far deeper.
After spending more time with Bronson, Bachman became more and more convinced that Bronson had been separated from a family.
He was in good weight and didn’t show any signs of being infested with the fleas and ticks that plague stray dogs in the south.
A few people began showing an interest in fostering or adopting Bronson. But, the shelter decided that if Bronson had a home, it was up to them to find it.
Bachman took it upon herself to try to get Bronson back to his family. Her husband, Gino, who also works at the Blount County SPCA, was also touched by Bronson’s plight.
He helped looked up the Florida shelter’s paperwork and got in touch with the animal control officer who found him on the road. After he knew where the dog had been picked up, he then posted Bronson’s picture and information on a lost and found pets Facebook page of the area where he came from.
It didn’t take long for Bronson’s family to get in touch via a family friend. They had been looking everywhere for their eight-year-old “Meco.”
They had been fearful for his life when he didn’t return one day from walking his little human charges to their school bus stop. He always came straight home. But, that one day he had apparently met some new friends. And they got him in trouble he almost didn’t get out of.
The story wasn’t over yet, however. “Meco” was 12 hours away from his home now. And his owners did not have a car.
They were struggling, trying to find someone to go get their four-footed family member. Then Bronson/Meco’s guardian angel, a woman named Amber Edwards, offered to drive the dog all the way back to his home in Florida.
She said later that the reunion between the dog and his kids and family made every mile of the 12-hour drive totally worth it. The dog wagged his tail and romped with his kids, showing his happy dog grin for the first time since Animal Control caught up with him.
On the winds of a hurricane, Meco’s bad situation was made right in a way that Bachman said was made up of “…some miraculous stuff and divine intervention.”
We hope Meco has many more years of taking care of getting his kids off to school on time. And we hope he’s learned his lesson about taking up with the wrong kind of crowd along the way.