Apollo, the 10- to 11-year-old Pyrenees mix, went missing from his Jacksonville home after escaping his enclosure Aug. 11. Thanks to the help of volunteers, he was found in Massachusetts and returned to his owner, Cynthia Abercrombie, Sept. 23. (Garrett Pelican/The Florida Times-Union)

Cynthia Abercrombie, of Jacksonville, FL, almost gave up all hope of ever seeing her 11-year-old Pyrenees mix dog named Apollo.  She had owned the dog since he was just 6 months old.  Apollo escaped from his enclosure on August 10th and after extensive searching, he was no where to be found.  Cynthia feared for the worst.

Apollo, the 10- to 11-year-old Pyrenees mix, went missing from his Jacksonville home after escaping his enclosure Aug. 11. Thanks to the help of volunteers, he was found in Massachusetts and returned to his owner, Cynthia Abercrombie, Sept. 23. (Garrett Pelican/The Florida Times-Union)
Credit: http://jacksonville.com

But this past Friday at about 9pm, Apollo came clambering out of a stranger’s car to greet her.  Cynthia was overjoyed!  “It’s just a big relief just having him back, knowing that he’s OK,” an emotional Abercrombie said.  When she heard where he had been found, she was left stunned!

Apollo was found roaming the streets in Swansea, Massachusetts.  That is 1,100 miles from where he escaped his enclosure!  Abercrombie has no idea how he got there, she fears that he must have been stolen.  Those who rescued Apollo found the microchip in him and traced him back to his owner in Jacksonville.

Cynthia lives on a fixed income and had no idea how she would ever get Apollo back to Florida.  Swansea animal control officer, Lisa White, and Mary Ellen House of East Coast Paws took control of making this reunion happen.  They reached out to nearly two dozen volunteer drivers that each drove about an hour.  On Thursday night, Apollo got to stay with a kind volunteer in Virgina who allowed the dog to simply rest for the night before hitting the road again.

Bill and Gail Towne got the final leg of the journey from Folkston, Georgia to Jacksonville.  The Townes said it is gratifying to get to meet new people and reunite them with their pets.  “It just makes all the miles and late nights and everything worthwhile,”  They said.

This story highlights not only the generosity of these volunteers and the joy of owner/pet reunions, but also the importance of getting pets microchipped and registered with the needed information.