(Hernando, MS) A dog that disappeared more than two years ago in Munford, TN reunited with her family this weekend in Hernando, MS with the help of a dedicated volunteer.
Alie is a Shepherd mix who disappeared when she was barely six months old. Her owner, Jessica Collins, was 19 at the time and living in Munford, TN.
Jessica had gotten Alie vaccinated and even had a microchip installed. But no one told her she needed to call to register that chip with her contact information.
“Jessica just cried. Cried and cried and cried,” said Andrea Collins, Jessica’s mom.
She said they looked for her for a long time, but eventually lost hope.
Little did they know, Memphis Animal Services picked Alie up in a field on January 23rd, more than two years after her disappearance.
They couldn’t find any contact information based on her microchip, so they contacted Teresa Martin, an animal activist who helps find lost pets.
“They came to a dead end. So he asked me could I work my magic and find the owner of this dog,” Martin said.
In the last two years, Martin has helped reconnect 3,000 pets with their owners. She has set up a Facebook page, Lost and Found pets of the Mid-South:
Martin got to work quickly to find Alie’s family.
“Contacting the manufacturer of the microchip, finding out who it was distributed to, calling the distributor,” Martin said.
Over five days, she managed to find two distributors who sold those particular microchips. She narrowed it down to one zip code, in Munford, TN.
“So random phone calls had to be made to that zip code, to all the vets offices,” she said.
Eventually, one veterinarian’s office had a record of Alie, and Jessica Collins’ address. From there, she found the Collins in Hernando, MS.
“We got a phone call Friday night from Teresa saying, this dog’s on death row,” Andrea Collins said.
When Jessica found out, “She broke out in tears. Mama, where has she been all this time? Who's had her?”
Saturday morning, they were at the Memphis Animal Shelter before doors even opened.
When staff walked them back to the clinic to see Alie, they warned the couple they would be in for a surprise.
“My husband and I were standing there, I was crying, and I had Teresa on the phone. And I said I think I'm counting seven. And he says no, count nine.”
Alie had given birth while at the shelter. Martin wasn’t even told about the puppies.
The Collins said they couldn’t leave the puppies there for what would likely be euthanasia. So they took them home, determined to find them loving families.
Jessica’s apartment is too small for the big family, but she rushed over to her parents’ house as soon as possible.
“[Alie] greeted us, but she didn't lick anybody until she saw Jessie,” Andrea Collins said.
Thankfully, the dog does not appear to have been mistreated while she was missing.
The puppies are only a week old, but they will be ready for adoption once they reach six weeks. It will cost about $1,000 to get all nine puppies the shots they need.
Martin is helping the Collins connect with a rescue group who might get the vaccinations at a discount. For anyone who wants to help, Martin asks them to contact her on the Facebook page, listed above.