BILLINGS — A Billings woman was reunited this week with her 13-year-old bulldog after the dog was stolen from her yard in 2017.
Crystal Kerr said she had been searching for her canine companion, Georgette, for three years with no luck.
On Sunday, Kerr's luck turned around when Georgette was dropped off at the Help For Homeless Pets animal shelter in Billings.
“I had gotten a call from the director that there was a 13-year-old bulldog coming in… My first reaction was her eyes,” Ashley Burling, director of shelter operations, said Tuesday.
It's a situation that workers at the animal shelter often see, and they want more people to understand the necessary steps to reunite a missing pet with its owner.
Burling decided to post the bulldog as adoptable on the shelter’s Facebook page right away to quickly find her a home and eliminate any stress that could be put on the 13-year-old dog from being in the shelter.
People quickly responded to the post, inquiring on the shelter's adoption policy and commenting on Georgette's beauty. “Everyone starts commenting… 'I think we found the owner,'” said Burling.
To Burling’s surprise, Kerr, the owner of Georgette, commented on the post, saying, “This is my dog she was stolen from me. Contact me ASAP.”
When Kerr, who declined an interview request, arrived at the shelter, Georgette, who had previously been aggressive and nervous, immediately went quiet and started wagging her tail.
"Crystal goes into the kennel and sits on the floor and Georgette immediately crawls into her lap tail wagging… It was amazing to see,” said Burling.
The shelter posted: "When her owner came to the kennel, she began to bark aggressive at first..then after a few seconds, she realized who it was and for the first time since at the shelter, got quiet and began to wag her tail 😭 ... when her owner entered the kennel she immediately crawled into her lap and snuggled close 😭... it was almost too heartfelt to watch!! 💙🥰🐾 #amazing"
It isn't clear whether the dog was stolen or simply ran away, but Burling reminds pet owner to keep looking.
"When you lose an animal, it is important to never give up looking for your pets," Burling said.
To find a lost pet, Burling advised checking lost pet Facebook groups and shelter pages in your area.