Junior, a pit bull terrier mix that spent 2 years at an Ohio shelter and 8 years apart from his family, was reunited with them before the Christmas holiday. According to the Humane Society of Summit County, Junior was taken from his family in 2012 after a home invasion.

Source: WKYC Channel 3/YouTube

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His owner, Julia Nemeth, never gave up hope. She scoured Craigslist and shelters but could never find it. “Buddy,” as he was known at the shelter, was a staff favorite. Buddy stayed at the shelter off and on and was adopted a few times, but never found the right home. In mid-December, Julia saw his photo on the shelter’s site and called and they were reunited!

Julia says of the reunion, “I keep asking my husband to pinch me because I can’t believe this is real. I can’t believe Junior is home. He carried me through challenges of my life and to have him back means everything to me.”

We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shop. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!

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