Animal Control officer

Owner Tearfully Reunites With Lost Terrier ‘Scruffy,' 371 Days Later

Michael Greer had been marking down on his calendar all the days his dog had been missing.

During that 371-day period, Greer, of Palm Springs, frequently checked the area where his 6-year-old terrier disappeared, and visited the Coachella Valley Animal Campus so many times that employees recognized him when he finally reunited with "Scruffy" at the shelter on Tuesday.

"When he saw his dog, he wanted to jump into the kennel," said Marisa Sanabria, a supervising animal care technician. "He couldn't believe his dog was here."

In October 2015, Greer asked a friend to keep an eye on Scruffy when he went out of town for work — but somehow the dog escaped or disappeared near Bermuda Dunes.

Animal control officer Paul Villanueva discovered the pooch more than a year later Monday on Patrick Drive in Indio and took him to the Thousand Palms shelter. Thankfully, Scruffy was microchipped. 

Riverside County Department of Animal Services
Animal Care Technician Daniel Aspiro hands off Scruffy to owner Michael Greer on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.

"(Greer) was crying when he found out his dog was with us," Sanabria said. "He had given up, because he had been to our shelter many times."

Sanabria and other employees were very excited to see that Greer finally reunited with his long-lost pup.

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