For people around the world, 2020 was a tough year. But for pets, quarantine often meant spending more time than ever with their humans. Regardless of the circumstances, pets were thrilled to spend long days with their people, and we’ve honestly never been more grateful for their company. Dylan Summers’s dog Athena, however, had a genuinely ruff 2020.
It started with an accident. The sweet brindle pup was hit by a car, leaving her with an injury so severe that one of her legs had to be amputated. While recovering from her surgery, Summers let her out in his backyard as he’d done countless times in the past. Sadly, when he went to retrieve her, Athena was nowhere to be found.
“I searched everywhere for her and posted online but no one came forward. I had suspicions that she was stolen but I couldn’t confirm it. I was so worried about her,” Summers told FOX 2.
Summers continued his search, but after 10 months, he had little hope of finding his beloved dog. He began the heartbreaking process of looking for a new dog to adopt, realizing to some degree this meant admitting Athena was gone forever. When Summers visited the website of Gateway Pet Guardians, an animal welfare agency in East St. Louis, IL, he made a startling discovery.
Among the faces of the kind, excited dogs looking for their forever homes was a dog who already had one – just an hour away from Summers’s home, Athena was alive and safe. The rescue had pulled Athena from St. Clair County Animal Control in Illinois, but before then, the pup had been found in an unsuitable home with several other dogs living in poor conditions. Thanks to both animal control and local law enforcement, all dogs were confiscated, and Athena was reunited with her human on New Year’s Day.
“I was so happy to hear that she was safe and doing well and being reunited with her was incredible,” said Summers. “She is already settled back in at home and it’s like she never left. I am so appreciative of Gateway Pet Guardians for getting her back home to me.”