Dog News

College Student Reunites with Lost Dog After Visiting Shelter to Adopt New Pet

by Katherine

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Ninenteen-year-old Kerstie Bush of Bangor, Maine, had lost all hope of ever finding her four-year-old Australian shepherd named Running Bear. She visited the Somerset Humane Society shelter in Skowhegan with her grandfather because he was looking to adopt a dog, and she never expected to go meet one dog and find her lost pet there.

Kerstie Bush and her dog Running Bear.
Kerstie Bush and her dog Running Bear.


In August, Running Bear got lost in Hartland, Maine, while his family was there for a visit. Out of nowhere the dog ran away and never came back. Bush called local shelters and searched the area numerous times, but she never found him.

Her grandfather’s dog had recently passed away, and when the elderly man was ready to adopt a new pet, Bush volunteer to take him to Somerset Humane Society. They visited the shelter to meet Azalea, a pit bull mix, they had seen on the shelter’s Facebook page, and when they got there, Bush read the description of a dog that matched Running Bear’s description.

“They came in, and we have a white board with the dogs that we have here and their descriptions,” Christine Coolidge, shelter worker, told Portland Press Herald. “She looked up at the board and said, ‘I lost a dog like that.'”

As soon as the potential adopters entered the dog room, tears came gushing from Bush and Running Bear.

“Bear?” said Bush. “He jumped up and down like a spring and he started talking to me, telling me the whole story of what happened. When I saw him, I couldn’t hold back my emotions, and I just started crying and crying. He cried with me. He was so happy.”

“He was whining and wagging his tail,” said Coolidge. “It wasn’t a regular dog barking. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not a bark; it’s just a constant whine.”

On September 18, 2014, an animal control officer picked up Running Bear as a stray from Corinna, a nearby town.Workers checked the lost pets’ report and had contacted Bush to tell her they had a dog that matched her dog’s description. They left a message but Bush thought the call came from another shelter she had just visited and not found her dog, therefore she ignored the message. The very next day Bush reunited with her pet.

The Somerset Humane Society was so happy to have reunited Bush with her dog that they dint charge her any holding fees. The pet owner was so grateful to have Running Bear back that she promised to donate various items to the shelter.