Buster is one lucky, lucky dog.
Lost after Superstorm Sandy, Buster was reunited with his family just hours before meeting a much grimmer fate. Christine O'Donovan, Buster's owner, says that after Sandy ripped through the family's neighborhood in Queens, New York, their house was nearly ruined. When damage assesors came to check out the house in mid-November, Buster got spooked and ran off.
"He had ran out and just disappeared," O'Donovan told WLNY. "[We searched] everywhere. Everywhere." After a month of tireless effort, O'Donovan and her family assumed Buster was gone.
However, on December 12th, a family friend made an incredible discovery while browsing the Animal Care and Control website. It was Buster's picture. He had ended up at a local shelter and was due to be euthanized the very next day.
The friend alerted O'Donovan, and together they tried desperately to get in contact with the shelter. Since it was later in the evening, the shelter's phones were unattended. Its doors were closed. There was no way to make contact, and the dog's fate hung in the balance.
The next morning, O'Donovan showed up early to the shelter and was overjoyed to find her Buster alive and well, saved by a few hours and one very lucky discovery.
"Oh, I cried," O'Donovan says. "I was so happy. I love my dog."
Buster and his family may have a happy ending, but there are still hundreds of Sandy survivors who are missing their pets. The Facebook page "Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets" has advice for families missing pets, foster home information, and keeps a photo record of lost and found animals.
Their recommendation? If you have a question about a pet, go straight to the shelter. As Buster's case shows, it may make all the difference.