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Leigh’s Lost and Found: The group effort to get a dog missing for five months, back home!

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 11:41 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In today’s Leigh’s Lost and Found, it took several people in the right place, at the right time, to make this success story happen.

When a dog was found in Sparta in terrible shape, it was first thought she’d been neglected and dumped. But after a little digging, her rescuers found out, that wasn’t the case at all.

“She walked out in front of my car on 125 by the elementary school. She looked like a feral dog.”

Annie Burke happens to work at an animal clinic and ended up chasing the dog down and getting her into her car. She then called her rescue friend, Kimbra Kern.

“She was stinky, she was filthy. You could see that the collar was embedded in her neck. She was in a lot of pain.”

While Kimbra got the dog to the emergency vet, Sparta’s city clerk looked through old lost dog posts on the Leigh’s Lost and Found facebook page and came up with a hit, from October of last year.

“She said, I think we found your dog. And I said, you found Hickory? And she’s like yeah, Hickory.”

Hickory’s owner Alicia Rodriguez and her family moved from Sparta to Texas in January. Her dad still lives in Sparta and met Hickory at the vet clinic.

Meanwhile, Alicia’s husband jumped in the car, and eventually met them in Tulsa Oklahoma for the first reunion.

Then came the ultimate reunion, when Hickory finally made it home to Alicia.

“She’s the same dog we left. She’s a little bit more attached to us, she does not like us going out of the room.”

Despite her ordeal and surgery to remove her collar, Hickory is as playful and happy as when they first got her. Alicia says there are no words to describe her gratitude to the women in Sparta who went the extra mile.

Kimbra told us, “this was one of those rescues where all the right people were in the right place at the right time and we came together and a miracle happened for our sweet Hickory.”

Alicia agrees, saying, “it’s really emotional for me and I’m so thankful for them because I wouldn’t have my dog back without them. It’s still surreal looking over at her and thinking, oh my gosh, Hickory is home!”

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