After 20 Months Lost, Hunter Comes Home

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Over a year ago, two Labradors, Hunter and Max from New York, broke out of their yard and got lost. Max was found soon after but Hunter was nowhere near his canine brother. Twenty months later, Hunter was found and reunited with his owners.

The pet owners used social media to ask people in the surrounding areas to help them look for their lost dog, and it was on social media, Lost Dogs of CNY that they broke the good news when Hunter was found.

Hunter back with his family. Photo Credit: Lost Dogs of CNY - Facebook
Hunter back with his family. Photo Credit: Lost Dogs of CNY – Facebook


“Hunter is home!!” posted Brad Ashbaugh. “He was away for a year and eight months. We wish he could tell us of his travels… where, when, and why he separated from his brother, Max…how he survived, and who and what did he meet along the way.”

When the dog got lost in March 2013, he weighed 104 lbs and when found he was a bag of skin and bones weighing just 50 lbs.

The pet owners say that the reunion was made possible thanks to Christine Ebbecke and Jen Sovino who spotted the dog near the road in Monticello, New York. Hunter was 125 miles away from home, but the two women rescued and saved the dog.

After Ebbecke and Sovino rescued the pet, he was taken to animal control. Because of his emaciated state, animal control was ready to give up on the dog and put him to sleep, but the woman decided to foster and nurse him back to health.

Hunter was infested with ticks and fleas, and suffered from anemia and parasites. A local veterinarian treated him and a community of animal lovers came together to help pay for his medical costs. A picture of him was posted on “Lost Pets of The Hudson Valley” and it was there where Ashbaugh, Hunter’s rightful owner, saw and recognized the emaciated dog.

After exchanging information and making a positive ID, Ashbaugh and his family took a road trip to reunite with their lost long friend.

“It was a shock to see how emaciated he was even though we were prepared by the pics we had seen,” said Ashbaugh. “It was unbelievable that we were finally with him after so long. We never gave up hope. We searched every day, facing the real possibility that we would not see him again. After visiting for a couple hours we headed home with our sweet boy. Hunter is now warm and comfortable and well fed after what had to be an incredible adventure.”

If it wasn’t for Ebbecke and Savino’s great act of kindness, Hunter would not be alive today, nor would he have been reunited with his owner. For Ashbaugh, words are not enough to express how grateful he is for the women and the community that came together to help save his dog.