Volunteers with an animal rescue group in Fort Worth still can't believe what happened last weekend: they got a dog back home almost 14 years after it disappeared.
"It was really special. I know I'll never forget it and the Webster family won't either. I mean story of a lifetime, dog of a lifetime and he's finally a home," said McKenzie Smith, a volunteer with Saving Hope Rescue.
The nonprofit provides rescue and a second chance for animals in need in the Fort Worth area.
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Two weeks ago, it was a stray Yorkie that needed help.
Fort Worth Animal Care and Control found the stray and knew it was an older dog that had been through a lot. He'd also been microchipped.
The agency called in its partner, Saving Hope, for help. The rescue group picked him up, cleaned him up and through a microchip found the owner and discovered quite a story.
The dog had been missing for almost 14 years!
"He was microchipped, 3 times, and they [animal control] were attempting to make contact with his rightful owner and get to the bottom of the little dog's mystery. After some investigating, the original owner was found and we made contact.. IT WAS REMINGTON!" wrote volunteer Lauren Anton in an email to NBC 5.
The Saving Hope volunteers learned that the dog named Remington has been a birthday from Aaron Webster to his wife years ago.
"I think he was nine weeks old, 10 weeks, yeah. And they were just elated. She was just over the moon, and they just fell in love with him immediately. They had him for two months, went to Aaron's mom's house and somebody took him from the side yard," Smith said.
He was so tiny, the couple feared a hawk had gotten him.
"They looked for him, he said, for months and months. They searched for him, and they wanted their baby back and finally they just assumed the worst," Smith said.
The worst day for the Websters turned into one of the best when the Websters got the call that the dog they named Remi had been found.
"And you could hear the emotion in his voice," Smith said about the conversation with Aaron Webster. "They wanted him back."
Last weekend, Webster and a son drove the 260-plus miles from Houston to Fort Worth for a reunion the family feared would never happen.
"It's just so awesome that after all these years he finally got home and we're just so excited we were able to help," Smith said. "He's gonna be Remi Webster as he was always meant to be for the rest of his life."
The volunteers rescue then place hundreds of dogs and cats in homes every year, but say this one will be hard to forget.
"It's so awesome that after all these years, he got home and we're just so excited that we were able to help," Smith said.
The Saving Hope Rescue Fund takes in animals from local shelters so they can be vetted, rehabilitated, fostered, and eventually adopted in forever homes. In 2018, the nonprofit rehomed 396 animals. As of December 2019 it has successfully re-homed 792 dogs and 131 cats.