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Dog stolen 5 years ago in Colorado found alive in Missouri

**Embargo: St. Louis, MO**

Animal control officers picked up a stray dog in Festus on September 15 that turned out to be a long way from its home in Pueblo, Colorado.

**Embargo: St. Louis, MO** Animal control officers picked up a stray dog in Festus on September 15 that turned out to be a long way from its home in Pueblo, Colorado.

Festus, MO — Animal control officers picked up a stray dog in Festus on September 15 that turned out to be a long way from its home in Pueblo, Colorado.

Melissa Morton is a volunteer who has helped care for the St. Bernard named Missy. Morton said, “She’s better. She had a bath, she had fleas and they gave her some medicine for her skin condition.”

The dog had a microchip but the information on it was out of date and some of it was inaccurate. A persistent volunteer finally tracked down the owner, Brenda Mahaffey.

“I’m really excited, my daughter’s excited. I just want to cry I’m so excited,” Mahaffey said.

Mahaffey said the family got Missy at an animal shelter in Colorado and planned to make her more than a pet.

“We adopted the dog because I have two special needs daughters and we were going to train the dog to be a special needs dog, a service dog.”

But before they could, the dog was stolen from their yard.

No one knows how Missy got from Colorado to Missouri but there are many who are pitching in to help reunite the dog with its owners. Jefferson County has agreed to waive all fees and veterinary bills, When Morton found out the family wouldn’t be able to pick up the dog soon, she offered to help.

“That’s when I stepped in and said, ‘so, you know, what if they release the dog to me I’ll make sure it gets back to Colorado, I’ll drive it back to Colorado,'” Morton said.

Brenda Mahaffey’s daughter, Kalli, is looking forward to being with her family’s dog again.

“We’re going to go for walks and then I’m going to take her to a park like we used to,” said Kalli.

Enterprise Rent-A Car has donated a vehicle for Morton to drive to Pueblo at just $10 a day with unlimited miles. She plans to reunite Missy with the Mahaffey’s on Friday.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to cover the travel costs.

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