Missing Dog Reunited With Family After 12 Years

Nevena Nacic
by Nevena Nacic
Kristina Chizhmar/Shutterstock

A Valey family was reunited with their lost dog, who has been missing for over 12 years. Late last month, Allysa Sanford, a Maricopa County Animal Care & Control Field Officer, was called to pick up a stray dog on Grandale. 

Sanford was happy to discover the dog was microchipped and that his name was Minion. She called the number on the file and learned that Minion, a bichon friese, had been missing for 12 years after a maintenance worker accidentally left a home’s back gate open in 2011. The biggest surprise was that Minion’s family still lived in the same Grandale home, less than 30 minutes away from where he was found.

My phone rings and it is my wife and she says, ‘Hey I got a call from Animal Control and they say they have our dog.’ I am thinking this has to be a prank,” the dog’s owner, Skip Crandall, said on KTAR News 92.3 FM

The senior pooch appeared timid and kind of sad, never wagging his tail, which prompted Sanford to explain to the family that Minion wouldn’t be able to move fast because of his old age. However, as soon as Sanford let Minion out of the kennel, he immediately started to wag his tail and was clearly excited to see his family.

They came and they took him out of the truck and as soon as he saw us, that tail started wagging,” said Crandall. Once he was out of the kennel, this senior pooch began to run around his old home and was greeted by a pair of new canine buddies. “He is doing great and it’s wonderful to have him back with our family,” said Crandall, who described the reuniting as “unbelievable.”

The family’s three children were younger than 13 when Minion went missing from their home. Now 20, 22, and 24, the kids were excited to see and embrace their long-lost pooch. In the time Minion was missing, the family adopted a miniature schnauzer and a Labrador retriever schnauzer mix to complete the family. 

Although Minion is finally home, he is far from the young pup he used to be. At 15 years old, this senior is in desperate need of some TLC. “He was in a little rough shape, but we brought him to the vet. We’ve got some work to do to get him healthy, but he’s got a few good years left in him. He’s playing with other dogs and getting around just fine. Just need to get some dental work and minor surgery on him,” Crandall explained. 

Minion was located 20 miles from his home, and it’s unclear what happened to him since he disappeared all those years ago. His family doesn’t know how long Minion lived on the streets, but Crandall is confident that someone took care of the pooch because he didn’t look malnourished.

Dogs with microchips are more likely to be returned home to their owners than dogs without microchips. Maricopa County Animal Care & Control said in a Facebook post that this reunion wouldn’t be possible without a microchip. The organization also encouraged pawrents to make sure their pets are microchipped and to keep contact information up to date. 

Kim Powel, a spokeswoman for Maricopa County Animal Care & Control said, “Microchip is forever. The greatest thing about them is it will never fall out of them, it will never leave their body in any way. Once they are chipped, they are chipped for life.”

If you haven’t microchipped your dog, it’s not too late to do it today!

Nevena Nacic
Nevena Nacic

Nevena is a freelance writer and a proud mom of Teo, a 17-year-old poodle, and Bob, a rescued grey tabby cat. Since childhood, she had a habit of picking up strays and bringing them home (luckily, her parents didn't know how to say NO). When she's not writing for her fellow pet parents, Nevena can be found watching Teo sleep. To her defense, that's not as creepy as it sounds!

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