A dog who was missing for several weeks after running away from his family home, which had been hit by Superstorm Sandy, was found by his family just hours before he was scheduled to be euthanized.
The O'Donovan family was having their home in Queens, New York, assessed for damage when Buster, their Rhodesian Ridgeback and German Shepherd mix dog, ran away from home. Christine O'Donovan and her five kids (ages 2 through 12) searched for a month trying to find Buster but could not find him.
Trying to network online was a challenge as her home did not have any electricity and therefore no Internet connection. Christine could not check the Animal Care & Control website (AC&C) to see if they had found Buster. Luckily, her friend Kim Fraser, who runs a rescue group Sasha's Mission, saw a picture of Buster on December 12. She saw Buster's picture on an urgent rescue alert and was horrified to learn the one-year-old dog was scheduled for euthanasia the very next day at the shelter in Brooklyn. Buster was listed as a stray pit bull mix with kennel cough.
Kim immediately contacted Christine to give her the amazing, but alarming, news. "By this time, it was maybe 10 o’clock, 10:30 at night, and there is now no way to reach the shelter," Fraser told CBS. "There is no direct line once they close. They close, you can’t go there."
As soon as Christine saw a photo of the dog, she knew it was Buster. She immediately called the closed shelter and was able to place Buster on hold using the shelter's automated telephone system. "I hoped and prayed that he would be alive when we got there," Christine said.
She arrived at the city's Animal Care & Control the next morning to bring Buster back home. Thankfully he was there waiting. According to the New York Daily News, Buster had been held at the shelter for 8 days, well past their mandatory 72 hour hold.
When Christine and her kids picked up Buster, he was happy to see them. "He was so happy to see my kids and they were so happy to see him,’ said Christine. Christine had rescued Buster a few months earlier when she found him abandoned and tied to a pole on Queens Boulevard. "I cried," Christine said of the family's reunion. "I was so happy. I love my dog."