BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Every dog behind the gates of Companion Animal Alliance (CAA) has a story, but Sparky's story is nothing short of amazing.
Jillian Sergio with CAA says in October, the pomeranian/terrier mix was spotted by a citizen, picked up by animal control on Bluebonnet Road, and d ropped off at the shelter. Sergio says they instantly knew he wasn't a stray. "He was definitely well loved. You can tell he's probably been spoiled," she said. "We were really surprised when no one came for him."
The puppy was renamed Taz, and after being at the shelter for two months, was featured on WAFB's Adopt-A-Pet segment in our 5 p.m. newscast on Wednesday. By chance, Susan Covington and her husband were watching from the comfort of their home miles away in Brusly. Covington, a teacher, isn't normally home before sundown.
Covington says back in October, the family dog, whose real name is Sparky, went outside for a bathroom break. "A couple of days, then a week went by and my mom's like, 'He's got to be dead,'" she said.
Assuming he was lost forever, the Covingtons still searched local shelters, but with no answers. "Nobody would ever think to go 30 minutes away, literally cross a river, to come look for their dog," Sergio said. "Because they didn't think he would make it over, as most people wouldn't."
The newscast Wednesday night instantly gave the puppy owners hope. "My son asked me, 'Mom are you sure that's him?' I said, 'Baby, I'm sure,'" Covington said.
And then on Thursday evening, nervous, but confident it was their fur baby, the family was reunited. "As soon as I saw him and heard his bark, I was like, 'That's him,'" Covington said.
Covington says this new adventure only adds to Sparky's list of triumphs. He's been run over, bitten by a snake, and trapped under a fence. His family says he's a miracle. "This is a Christmas gift right here. Just getting my baby back," Covington said.
And just in case 16-year-old Sparky decides to go on another run, he's now been microchipped. "While we hope he doesn't get out again, if he does, he will be able to be reunited really soon," Sergio said.
Sergio says microchips are the number one way for pets to be reunited with their owners and encourages all pet owners to have the procedure done. Sergio adds that when an animal is found, Good Samaritans should take the dog or cat to the nearest animal shelter in that parish.
Click here for more information on how you can help CAA in their efforts to keep pets with their families and out of the shelter. The Adopt-A-Pet segment airs every Wednesday on WAFB during the 5 p.m. newscast.