Missing Connecticut dog found weeks later, miles away by kennel worker


A rescue dog that ran away from his Connecticut owner reportedly turned up miles away — at the home of a kennel worker who was also searching for the missing pooch.

Jean Mariano was returning to her New Milford home after a hike with Copper, a 2-year-old lab-hound mix, when a log splitter attached to a pickup truck spooked the dog, sending him running into woods without his harness, The News-Times reported.

Mariano was unable to chase down Copper on her own, so she posted glossy photographs of her beloved pet along River Road and tracked the few reported sightings along Route 202.

The agonizing search for Copper, whom Mariano adopted about a year ago, continued for roughly 13 days until the determined dog showed up at the home of an assistant manager at a local kennel who was also looking for him – some 10 miles away, according to the report.

“I’ve never had a truly insane moment like that,” Amy LaRusso of Unleashed, where Copper occasionally stayed when Mariano left town, told the newspaper. “I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.”

LaRusso said she texted Mariano just after midnight on March 11 to tell her that Copper had been found. The kennel worker said she was playing video games when she heard an unfamiliar howl outside and went out to investigate, the newspaper reported.

She spotted Copper just outside her home and the dog initially took off, but froze and ran to the woman once LaRusso called out his name, she said.

“I just held on for dear life,” she recalled.

LaRusso said Copper had never been to her home and she doesn’t understand how the dog managed to make his way there. She did bond with the animal, however, when he stayed at the kennel, telling him “I love you, Copper!” every time his stay was up.

LaRusso said she removed a few ticks from his coat and called Mariano to pick him up, the newspaper reported.

Copper lost a few pounds during his solo adventure, but is otherwise OK, Mariano said. He was back at his New Milford home Monday, licking away at a peanut butter-covered bone.

“Right now I’m sitting outside, he’s sitting on the patio with me in the sun,” Mariano told the newspaper. “And he’s happy.”

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