Dog Stolen During Ohio Home Invasion Reunites with Owner 8 Years Later

Junior the dog has made his way home.

The 9-year-old pit bull/terrier mix reunited with his owner, Julia Nemeth of Barberton, Ohio, eight years after being taken during a home invasion, according to a press release from the Humane Society of Summit County (HSSC).

Julia, a mother of four, got Junior as a puppy and the two developed a strong bond. She even taught him hand signal commands so she could communicate with the canine without waking her children.

Then, in 2012,  Junior was stolen during a home invasion. Even though she went years without finding any sign of the dog, Julia never stopped looking for him. She scoured local shelter photos and lost-and-found pet groups online but never found Juinor, according to the HSSC.

Without her knowing, Julia's luck began to change in 2018, when Junior was surrendered to the HSSC in July of that year. Known as "Buddy" at the shelter, he was treated for tapeworm upon his arrival but otherwise was in relatively good health.

Eventually, Junior/Buddy was made available for adoption and was taken in by three different families over the years. However, none of the families were the right fit for the pup, and he was sent back to the shelter after each adoption.

In mid-December, Julia discovered Junior's photo on the HSSC website and called the shelter immediately. After Julia described her dog's personality, shelter staff realized that "Buddy" was in fact, Junior.

Julia brought her family to meet Junior the following day to make sure he still felt comfortable with the group. That night, after a successful meeting, the family brought Juinor back home.

"I keep asking my husband to pinch me because I can’t believe this is real," Julia said. "I can’t believe Junior is home. He carried me through the challenges of my life and to have him back means everything to me.”

Julia said that Junior has adjusted well to being back home. He's resumed his normal activities of snuggling on the couch with family members, chewing his toys, and playing catch with Julia’s son in their backyard.

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