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Missing Rutherford County dog found 6 months later in Tennessee

Shelter employees say Taylor went missing about 6 months ago after she ran off from her home in Rutherford County. One week ago, employees say the dog turned up at a Tennessee shelter about 20 miles east of Knoxville. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

A small, mixed-breed dog will soon be reunited with her owners after going missing about 6 months ago.

Shelter employees say Taylor went missing about 6 months ago after she ran off from her home in Rutherford County. One week ago, employees say the dog turned up at a Tennessee shelter about 20 miles east of Knoxville.

Scott Lubas with the Jefferson County Tennessee Humane Society guesses someone picked up Taylor, then abandoned her.

"Someone saw her wandering around unattended to and brought her in, and the first thing we do when an animal comes in is scan for microchips," Lubas said.

Because Taylor had the microchip, it didn't take long for Lubas to find Taylor's owners, an elderly couple in Bostic, Rutherford County.

He said they were overjoyed and even cried on the phone, but, because they are sick with the flu, they could not make the drive to Tennessee. So, Lubas coordinated with Rutherford County Humane Society Representatives Sharon Loetz and Debbie Andersen to meet him halfway at Asheville Humane Society, where he would hand off Taylor.

Debbie Andersen says many pet owners in rural counties like Rutherford are less likely to microchip their pets.

"Some just let their dogs run loose. They don't realize the consequences if they don't come back home. Sometimes, the dogs are out there running. They get lost. Sometimes they look for other people to help them get back home, and without that microchip, sometimes it's impossible to help them get back home," Andersen explained.

Animal shelter workers say the cost to microchip a pet is, at the most, $20 or $25. Rutherford County Humane Society representatives said they plan to build a fence in Taylor's owners' backyard to prevent the dog from escaping again.

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