Lost Dog Overwhelmed with Joy as He Rediscovers His Beloved Human

by Megusta

In the previous month, Santa Fe City Animal Services discovered a stray puppy wandering aimlessly, appearing more disoriented than the typical strays they encountered. The duration of his solitary journey and his origin remained unknown, but his soiled paws and weary expression were evident signs that he required assistance.

Transported to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter (SFAS), the pup, affectionately named Hopper, was promptly embraced by a team of caregivers who showered him with affection. Despite his friendly nature and evident fondness for humans, the absence of a microchip or collar left the staff uncertain about his previous family ties.

Unbeknownst to them, someone miles away was frantically searching for him. A week prior to his arrival at SFAS, Hopper, whose real name is Panfilo, had been traveling with his owner, Roughiatou Sotelo—a truck driver from Maryland. Panfilo cherished these cross-country journeys with his favorite human.

However, during a stop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the 2-year-old dog inadvertently separated from his owner. Sotelo tirelessly searched for Panfilo before reluctantly leaving the state empty-handed. Returning to Maryland without their beloved Panfilo, Sotelo spent the ensuing days scouring the internet for any signs of him.

Meanwhile, in Santa Fe, Panfilo was adjusting well to his new environment at SFAS. Over 17 days in the shelter’s care, he was known as Hopper, receiving comprehensive medical attention, engaging enrichment activities, and forming bonds with volunteers. His picture was eventually featured under the “adoptables” section on the shelter’s website.

Sotelo, still in pursuit of their cherished pup, identified him instantly. Without hesitation, Sotelo boarded the next flight to Santa Fe for the long-awaited reunion.

As soon as Sotelo walked in, Panfilo eagerly rushed to the door. The reunion was a moment of pure joy as Panfilo, now back in his owner’s arms, showered Sotelo with excited kisses, wiping away tears of joy.

While Panfilo had formed strong connections with SFAS staff, nothing compared to being reunited with his favorite person in the world. Overjoyed, Panfilo and Sotelo resumed their journey together, heading back home.

Although the SFAS staff missed Panfilo’s presence, their joy for his reunion outweighed any sense of loss. Pamela Weese Powell, SFAS’s Director of Philanthropy, expressed gratitude for being a resource to families and the community, emphasizing the heartwarming reminder that pets are truly cherished members of the family.

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