In a miraculous turn of events, Crystal Fentress of Oklahoma was able to finally reunite with her dog Lela, following a 10-year separation!
The boxer was Oklahoma City Animal Welfare shelter on December 3rd where workers noted that the dog had been microchipped. At first, they weren’t too confident that they would be able to get in contact with the dog’s owner.
Morgan Epperson, a representative for the shelter, told PEOPLE “Things like this don’t typically happen,” and then explained how the microchip information “hadn’t been updated since 2009.”
Lela’s owner was at first confused by the call, saying she “didn’t have a missing dog,” as Epperson wrote in a post to Facebook.
“She then asked if the dog’s name was Lela,” Epperson continued, adding that afterward, Fentress “instantly broke down” and the next day she made the drive to pick her up.
According to ABC Affiliate KOCO News 5, after moving back to Oklahoma from Texas, Fentress, who was working in home health, had to move into an apartment where pets weren’t allowed.
While one of Fentress’s patients took Lela in, she eventually lost contact with them. So she had no idea Lela had been lost.
The emotional reunion was documented for Instagram, where Epperson posted the clip in which Fentress kneels down on the floor as Lela walks out to her – after which a huge hug ensues.
Let me tell you why I love my job. Shelter work isn’t always pretty. But, it’s often rewarding and heartfelt. Today,…
“Lela is now homebound!!! After TEN YEARS of her momma missing her, she finally got reunited. All thanks to a little microchip that got implanted ten years ago,” Epperson posted with the heartwarming footage. “My heart is so full of love and happiness. I love what I do, even the heartbreaking parts. This truly has been such an amazing journey.”
“The phone call alone brought me to tears,” Epperson said to PEOPLE.
“I don’t know how I would react if my dog was found 10 years later, more than two hours away,” Epperson added, stating that prior to leaving with Lela, Fentress gave her a hug and, “told me she was so thankful.”
“It was impossible for me not to cry at that point,” she said. “I’m just thankful for microchips.”