Owner Traveled Cross Country To Reunite With Her Missing Dog After 17 Days

Losing a beloved pet is an awful experience that tugs at the heartstrings of every pet owner. 

The anguish of separation, the sleepless nights, and the endless worry about our little helpless friend can be incredibly distressing. 

Connected by a powerful bond, many owners will go to incredible lengths just to bring their beloved furry friend back home. 

When a woman from Maryland lost her beloved dog while traveling through New Mexico, she was simply devastated, but she never lost hope. 

Lost In New Mexico 

Roughiatou Sotelo, a truck driver from Maryland, was traveling through New Mexico for work when her beloved pet ran away. 

A two-year-old dog named Panfilo loved riding in the truck with his favorite human all over the country. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Panfilo suddenly got lost in the city of Santa Fe. 

dog in a car
Source: Santa Fe Animal Shelter via The Dodo

Sotelo was devastated, but she kept searching for the little guy all over the city. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find him anywhere, so she had to return to her state empty-handed.

Even though she had arrived in Maryland, she didn’t give up her search for the lost puppy. 

Every single day since losing her puppy, she spent scouring the internet, the area’s animal shelter websites, and lost-and-found groups in hopes of finding any sign of him. 

Meanwhile, in Santa Fe, little Panfilo was wandering the streets looking completely lost. 

dog in a field
Source: Santa Fe Animal Shelter via The Dodo

Luckily, according to the shelter, Santa Fe City Animal Services spotted him one day and decided to bring him to Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society. 

At the shelter, Panfilo received lots of love and care. 

“While in the shelter’s care, Panfilo received a full medical workup, enrichment that included pupsicles and frozen kongs, and volunteers even began doing nosework with him,” Santa Fe Animal Shelter said. 

Unbeknownst to them, 1,800 miles away, someone was desperately searching for little Panfilo, or as the shelter named him – Hopper. 

Finally, after days of searching, Sotelo came across the shelter’s adoption listing for Hopper, a.k.a., Panfilo. 

She recognized his sweet face almost immediately. 

An Incredible Reunion 

woman holding the dog
Source: Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society

Sotelo immediately contacted the shelter and hopped on the next flight available to Santa Fe. 

“17 days later, Roughiatou, who never gave up hope and was monitoring local shelters online, finally came across Panfilo on our website! She flew in from Maryland and Panfilo was reunited with his mama. The tear filled video is a can’t miss,” the shelter wrote in a Facebook release. 

There were a number of people who shed tears during the reunion between the two. Take a look: 

The dog was bursting with happiness, while the owner couldn’t stop crying – they were tears of joy. 

Soon after, Sotelo and her little Panfilo were again on the road back home… this time, together. 

“Stories like this make us all smile a little wider and remind us that pets are truly family. We’re so grateful to be here as a resource to families and to our community,” Pamela Weese Powell, director of Philanthropy, said. 

photo of woman and a dog next to a big metal dog installation
Source: Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society

This is such an amazing story with a happy ending, which proves that you should never give up and lose hope because everything is possible. 

To support Santa Fe Animal Shelter and the amazing work they do, please visit their website. 

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