(Photo courtesy: Erin Morse)

RAYTOWN, Mo. — When a Jack Russell Terrier mix named “Little Buddy” was picked up off the streets of Raytown, Missouri (a suburb of Kansas City) and brought to Midwest Animal ResQ, he looked like most of the other strays.

“He was dirty but otherwise healthy. He was a little scared at the shelter but quickly melted the hearts of staff and volunteers here,” said Founding Director of Midwest Animal ResQ, Erin Morse.

Little Buddy arrived at the animal shelter with a secret — he’d been missing for nearly six years.

Prior to arriving at Midwest Animal ResQ, the animal control officers who found Little Buddy realized he was microchipped. They began sending chip alerts to the attached contact information, but those alerts initially went unanswered, according to “The Dodo” (an informative website about animals, and their wellbeing).

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“His owners originally thought the email alerts were a scam because so much time had passed (since Little Buddy went missing). Once we actually called the owner on the phone and told him we had his dog, he was over the moon,” Morse claimed.

After speaking to the dog’s owner, Brian Gilpatrick, the animal shelter learned that Little Buddy was adopted from a rescue organization in 2017, and lived 40 miles outside of Springfield, Missouri, with his dad. That is — until he went missing.

Gilpatrick put up fliers and drove around his neighborhood, looking for furry friend without any luck. No one contacted him using Little Buddy’s microchip information, either, according to one news report from the Kansas City area.

(Photo courtesy: Midwest Animal ResQ)

When Midwest Animal ResQ reached out to him on January 27th, Gilpatrick immediately hopped in the car and made the four-hour drive to reunite with his long-lost pup.

“Little Buddy went straight to his dad, and his little tail wagged so fast! As soon as he got a good sniff and heard his dad’s voice, he immediately started licking his face. By that point, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” Morse said.

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This is “Little Buddy,” a Jack Russell Terrier mix that went missing from his home near Springfield, MO, nearly six years ago. Little Buddy was recently found in a suburb of Kansas City. The pup was able to be reunited with his family on January 27th, 2023, thanks to his microchip. (Photo courtesy: Midwest Animal ResQ)

Midwest Animal ResQ said Little Buddy’s story is a great reminder as to why everyone needs to get their pet microchipped. They say you never know when your dog (or cat) might get lost.

Little Bubby’s story is the perfect example of how a lost pet, can be found — no matter how long, or how far their “journey” takes them.

You can learn more about pet microchipping, HERE.