7 Unbelievable Stories Of Pets Reuniting With Their Owners

It's getting harder to catch up on current events without being bombarded with wretched news, to the point where we can't browse the internet without stroking a therapy puppy or three. Since giving all of our readers an actual puppy to offset the horror of the evening news is a little outside our budget (we checked), here are a few great animal stories to make this bleak and unforgiving universe somewhat more palatable. Read how ...

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7
A Man's Missing Snake Turned Up In A Couch He Donated To Goodwill

When you buy your sofa at a thrift store, there's an understanding that it's gonna come with a few extras -- stray pocket change, fossilized Cheetos, a small mountain of pet hair, etc. What you probably don't expect to find is a full pet inside, especially one that looks like this:

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The one with scales, not the one with the beard.

In November 2018, Austin Pair was in the process of moving, and he donated his old sofa to a Goodwill store in Fort Worth, Texas. On a totally unrelated note, he'd lost his albino red-tailed boa Toki some six months earlier while he was away on vacation (let he who has never misplaced a three-foot-long reptile cast the first stone). Despite checking every cupboard and presumably being very careful while going to the bathroom for a while, Pair was never able to find Toki, so he assumed the snake had ditched him for good. And he absolutely didn't see any boas around when he packed up ... or when he donated his couch.

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Meanwhile, a Goodwill employee named James Murphy was moving a donated sofa when he spotted a rather large snake crawling out of it. Having experienced the concept of "furniture," Murphy quickly realized that wasn't supposed to be there. It seems Toki had holed up under Pair's butt cushions for half a year, and when he donated the couch, he unknowingly donated the snake as well.

Murphy himself happened to be a snake owner, so instead of screaming and looking for a sharp object, he took Toki home. A local news station ran the story, and a friend of Pair was like, "Hey, that's probably yours." That hunch turned out to be correct, and the two were reunited. On the other hand, every other Forth Worth resident who'd recently misplaced an albino boa and donated a couch to Goodwill was probably crushed.

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Related: The 5 Coolest Pets Humanity Has Bred Into Existence: Classic

6
Police Helped A Homeless Man Find His Missing Rat In A City Of Millions

While most of us probably consider not having a rat to be a good thing, one particular rodent managed to cause quite a stir with her absence. Her name was Lucy, and she wasn't your garden-variety city rat. She was the beloved pet of a homeless man named Chris, and the two were fixtures of downtown Sydney life. But then one day, he went to take a leak and came back to find her gone. But what are you gonna do? Call the cops on a missing rat? Well ... yeah.

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To be more precise, the cops called themselves. A passerby saw a heartbroken Chris sitting beside a note asking for help finding Lucy. She posted it to social media along with photos of Chris and Lucy, by far the most beloved man/rat duo in the area.

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Soon, the New South Wales Police Department stepped in and asked the public for help locating (literally) one rat in a million. The experts on the rat task force managed to pull up some security footage from the precise moment Lucy went missing, and discovered that a woman had taken her. According to the lady, she thought Lucy had been abandoned and took her home.

Lucy was turned in to the police, who invited Chris to the station for an emotional reunion with his friend. The pair even posed for some photos with the officers who returned her, making it the happiest time a homeless guy's ever spent in a police station. (If you wanna make them even happier, here's their GoFundMe.)

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Related: 7 Adorable Animals That Will Make Your Heart Sing

5
A Left-For-Dead Dog Tracked The Soldier Who Saved Him Over 75 Miles

When you hear about a Marine disobeying orders, it's usually over something like "SHOOT THOSE CIVILIANS!" or "BRING THE XENOMORPH BACK ALIVE!" In Major Brian Dennis' case, the order was simply "No pets allowed," but that doesn't make his story any less badass.

While stationed in Iraq in 2007, Dennis befriended a wild dog nicknamed "Nubs," because someone had cut off his ears. Further, Nubs had been stabbed with a screwdriver one day and left to die. That's how Dennis found him. The wound was infected, so Dennis broke the "No pets" rule to bandage him up and let the dog sleep in his bed. Dennis expected Nubs to die in the night, but that comfy bed did the trick, and he pulled through. And then they lived happily ever after? Nope, because Dennis and his team were then relocated to another fort some 75 miles away.

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The day they left, Nubs chased Dennis' vehicle until it was out of his sight, and everyone assumed that was the last they'd see of him But a few days after the Marines arrived at the new fort, so did Nubs. He went on a literal paw patrol and managed to track his human all the way to his new station. At this point, Dennis quit any pretense that this wasn't his dog, but his superiors didn't see it that way. Luckily, with the help of friends and volunteers, Nubs was relocated to the U.S., where he lived with Dennis until his death in 2018.

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Don't worry, he'll live forever in the inevitable Disney movie about all this.

Related: 6 Things You Won't Believe Animals Do Just Like Us

4
A Woman Who Escaped Wildfire Returned Home To Find Her Dog Waiting For Her

Despite its innocent-sounding name, California's November 2018 Camp Fire killed 85 people and destroyed over 18,000 homes. As Andrea Gaylord rushed to safety, her two dogs (brothers Madison and Miguel) decided this would be the perfect time to play hide and seek. Gaylord eventually made the anguished decision to leave them behind, knowing they were likely doomed.

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Once she was safe, Gaylord posted about her missing pets on social media and contacted animal rescue groups, begging them to be on the lookout for her furry boys. Two weeks later, Miguel was found by rescuers 87 miles away, but Gaylord was still pretty distraught about Madison. It was another two weeks before she could finally return to her property ... where she found Madison sitting casually beside her burned-out car, as if asking, "So, when's lunch?"

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"Nothing too cooked, please."

A volunteer had spotted Madison and left enough food and water for him to live on until Gaylord came home. That dog survived the fire and the storms that put the fire out, then patiently waited a whole month for his human to return. Hey, all those piles of charred wood weren't gonna protect themselves.

Related: 6 Animals That Prove Nature Has A Childish Sense Of Humor

3
Lost Sheep Consistently Turn Up Once They've Become Giant Balls Of Wool

Sheep are known for two things: having wool and mindlessly following other sheep. And yet, judging by Australian and New Zealand news outlets, it's not unusual for them to wander off on their own and, in some cases, stay wandered off for years. They escape to avoid being sheared, then live in the wild for as long as they can. Problem is, their fleece doesn't stop growing once they've made their break for it; they start off living large on the lam, but are slowly encased in wool until they can no longer see, or move, or do anything but look utterly ridiculous.

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In 2004, a sheep named Shrek became famous for his enormous 59-pound fleece, which he acquired by managing to hide from humans wielding sharp objects for over half a decade. Another fugitive, Sheila the Sheep, was found "on the side of the road, unable to move" in 2016 because her fleece had gotten so huge. Sheila had gone on an unauthorized sabba(aaaa)tical back in 2010, and lived as a runaway for six years in a forest near Hobart, Tazmania until the 46 pounds of wool around her made it impossible to run anymore.

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But the current record belongs to "Chris," a gigantic sheep found stuck outside Canberra. Chris had become "so overgrown [his] life was endangered" and "had suffered skin burns from urine trapped in his fleece," so a champion sheep shearer volunteered to give him a haircut. After 42 minutes and losing 89 pounds, Chris was free of what we imagine must have been the foulest-smelling wool that's ever existed. So basically, if your sheep goes missing, be patient for about six years while Mother Nature slows it down for you.

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Related: 10 Animals You Won't Believe Are Closely Related

2
A Trucker Found His Lost Cat 400 Miles Down The Road

In March 2017, trucker Paul Robertson was stuck in his cab at a rest area with what he described as "rampaging food poisoning." While Robertson went on jettisoning his own personal cargo, the truck was left to idle so the AC would run. Unfortunately, that meant Robertson's roadie, an orange cat named Percy, was able to step on the window controls and roll one down. Once Robertson had stopped launching his lunch and recovered enough to look around, he realized Percy was missing. Robertson waited at the rest area an entire day, calling his kitty and shaking his bag of food, until he was forced to resume his trip alone.

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Robertson then traveled a sad and lonely 400 miles through rain and snow, making two deliveries before finally disconnecting his trailer. It would probably have gone down as his all-time worst trip ever, but when he returned to his truck, he saw his beloved cat emerging from beneath it. Percy was dirty and cold, and nobody knows how many of his nine lives a 400-mile trip in a truck's undercarriage cost him. Apparently deciding that there are far worse places than the cab of a truck, Percy went happily back to co-piloting from his window perch.

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Doesn't look like a very attentive co-pilot, though.

Related: 6 Terrifying Predators Routinely Owned By Adorable Prey

1
A Family Found The Pet Tortoise They'd Lost 30 Years Earlier In A Locked Room

When a friend or loved one dies, someone inevitably draws the short straw and is tasked with clearing out the deceased's belongings. The process can be therapeutic and nostalgic, assuming the dearly departed remembered to throw away their sticky magazines. If it was a parent or close family member, you might even come across mementos from your youth, like old toys, photographs, and ... childhood pets?

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In 2013, Leandro and Lenita Almeida were cleaning out their family home after the death of their father Leonel, who had lovingly left them a very special gift: a room packed with broken electrical items he meant to fix and never got around to. His kids went "Aw, he really cared" and began throwing away all that junk. The process was fairly uneventful, until a neighbor asked the family if they were throwing away their tortoise too. Shocked, the Almeidas recognized the tortoise as Lenita's childhood pet, Manuela, who had disappeared 30 years earlier.

Perla Rodrigues / TV GloboSomeone spooked her, and she was still in the process of running away.

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Back in 1982, they had assumed Manuela got out of the house while repair work was being done. Little did they know, she had kept on keeping on amongst piles of discarded computer monitors and broken televisions. Veterinarians say that red-footed tortoises are "particularly resilient," and can go two or three years without food, but unless Shredder trapped her in a time vortex, this was a little more than that. The Almeidas' best guess is that Manuela survived her long incarceration by eating termites or whatever other bugs she came across. We hope they had time to double-check their junk for other missing pets, family members, or 1930s female aviators before the garbage truck pulled up.

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For more, check out 9 Adorable Animals (That'll Eat You If Given The Chance):


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