WJTV News Channel 12 - Pound Puppy Reunited with Owner Just Before Euthanasia

Pound Puppy Reunited with Owner Just Before Euthanasia

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Friday was a reunion that Roanoke County resident Mary Morris never thought could happen, and is certainly one she will never forget.

The story starts twelve years ago when her and her husband of fifty years, James adopted a blind puppy from the Franklin County animal shelter.

"My husband loved that dog," Mary said.

The dog whom the couple named Charmin soon became more than just a pet; she became family.

Mary's husband James, a retired Roanoke City Firefighter became ill years later after his kidneys failed. Mary says that through his exhausting treatments and struggles with surgery and dialysis, Charmin was his constant companion.

Charmin stayed by James side until his death in 2009.

"We even put Charmin as one of the survivors on my husbands obituary," Mary said. "It read special dog, Charmin."

Charmin now stays by Mary's side constantly.

"I told Charmin, girl, it's just you and I."

Three weeks ago that all changed. During a thunderstorm, Charmin managed to get lost in a wooded area around her beloved owners Roanoke County home.

Mary, thought the worst.

"I looked and looked for her. I was scared that she may have been attacked by a wild animal. I thought that it wasn't meant to be."

There is one place that Mary didn't think to look.

It turns out that Charmin was picked up and taken to the pound.

Without a known name, Charmin became known as #975316.

After waiting there, #975316 was put on a euthanasia list. The reason:quality of life issues.

The Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection now notifies rescue groups and volunteers twenty four hours in advance of animals put on a euthanasia list.

Angels of Assisi is one of the groups who receive that list. There was something about her story that peaked the volunteers interest.

Lisa O'Neil is the director of Angels of Assisi. She instantly fell in love with #975316.

"We took pity on an eleven year old dog that was blind and that's why we took her in. She didn't deserve to die in the pound," O'Neil said.

Volunteers immediately began looking for a home for the blind dog. They even found a person who was ready to adopt her.

The volunteers had worked so tirelessly to circulate the smiling picture of the old dog, that someone who knew her saw it.

Charmin's pet sitter, who had helped Mary look for her dog saw a picture of her on facebook.

The two contacted Angels of Assisi who reunited Mary with her beloved old friend.

"I was so happy," Mary said. "When I called my friend she thought that I had won the lottery. I said no, she is coming home. My girl is coming home."

Charmin now is micro chipped just in case she ever wonders off again.

It is one of the happiest reunions that Mary could have imagined.

"I wish I could tell my husband this story, it would make him so happy."

Perhaps a story, James already knows.

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