SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —
After missing for nearly a year, a dog was found more than 280 miles away and is now back with his owner in Sacramento.
Champ, a Siberian husky, went missing from his home in April, 2017.
“I believe that someone probably took Champ, but I’m not exactly sure. He just wasn’t home one day,” Champ’s owner Shaunta Lowman said. “I didn’t give up hope at all.”
According to dog experts, Siberian huskies are a popular target for thieves.
When he went missing, Lowman posted “Lost Dog” flyers throughout Sacramento — then realized that social media would be faster at spreading the message.
“It was at 36,000 shares,” Lowman said.
It wasn’t until Sunday night when the saga of the 2-year-old canine showed some promise — except he wasn’t near home.
A good Samaritan in Bakersfield, which is more than 280 miles from Sacramento, spotted Champ walking outside two weeks ago. The person took the dog to animal control and then Petsmart, where the store found Champ’s microchip.
However, all the phone numbers linked to Champ’s chip were disconnected.
The good Samaritan then searched online and found Lowman’s Facebook post. That’s when Lowman got the call she was hoping for nearly a year.
Thanks to a nationwide network of husky enthusiasts, Champ was able to catch a lift home. He started in Bakersfield and made stops in Fresno, Manteca and Galt before arriving in Sacramento. He was driven each leg of the way by volunteers like Janice Christensen.
“I love dogs. I love them,” Christensen said. “They all deserve a great home.”
It’s unclear what Champ was up to between April 2017 and two weeks ago. Lowman just knows he came back healthy, unharmed and picked up a few new friends along the way.
Lowman said Champ was microchipped, but her new number wasn’t linked, making the search more of a challenge.
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