There’s a huge push for people to get their dogs tagged and microchipped — and for good reason. It’s not uncommon to find pups wandering by themselves, and when there’s no identifying information anywhere on them, it’s impossible to tell where they’re from.
If they do belong to someone and aren’t just a street dog or a stray, but they also aren’t chipped, they run the risk of being picked up and put down if nobody comes for them.
One pit bull barely escaped that fate, thanks to his owner holding out hope and an observant Facebook stranger recognizing him.
“Hank” was a senior pit bull being held at an animal shelter in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to WPTV. He was grey and white, with a tiny white blaze.
Senior dogs don’t adopt out well, and pit bulls don’t adopt out well, so Hank had the odds stacked against him.
The staff did their best to make Hank a shining star, and even took him through socialization courses to try to make him more adoptable — but to no avail.
The shelter made the difficult decision to put the elderly pit bull down. But just two days before Hank was scheduled to be put to sleep, a man showed up, saw him and started crying.
“Look who turned up,” the man, named Barry Gearhart, said in a video he later posted to Facebook. “He’s here! What are you doing, buddy?”
“Hank” was actually “Titan,” a dog that Gearhart had had since he was a puppy. A year ago, Titan had been stolen out of Gearhart’s truck, and ever since then, Gearhart had been searching, heartbroken, for his four-legged friend.
Apparently he’d posted some photos to a local group nearly a year after losing him, still hoping to find him, and a woman commented that day, saying that Titan looked very much like a pit bull at the animal care and control shelter.
Gearhart lost no time in following up on the lead, and when he got to Hank’s kennel, the tears started to flow.
“Omg miracles never cease my Titan boy is been gone for one year and four days I posted something on Facebook today with a bunch of his pictures and Bam I got to hit he’s coming home,” he posted on January 3.
Titan was already old and suffering from some health issues, but he got to spend his last year of life happy and loved by the man who never forgot him.