Blind dog and guide dog reunited after one is found 100 miles away

Source: RACC
Source: RACC
Published: Apr. 25, 2018 at 3:03 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2018 at 9:25 PM EDT
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OJ, right, was found on a back road in Staunton less than a week after being adopted from RACC....
OJ, right, was found on a back road in Staunton less than a week after being adopted from RACC. (Source: Richmond Animal Care and Control)

STAUNTON, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Animal Care and Control says two dogs have been reunited after one turned up at a shelter more than 100 miles away.

A blind dog and its guide dog were adopted together, but shortly afterwards, the blind dog, OJ, was found wandering alone. RACC then contacted the person who adopted the two dogs. That person has now turned over the guide dog, Blue Dozer.

OJ, a 12-year-old Dachshund, was taken to a shelter in Lyndhurst, reported as a stray.

"A citizen came in with him and said he found him wandering on a back road," said Tracey Meadows, interim shelter director at Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center. "He didn't give me specifics, but somewhere in Staunton in the County."

OJ was surrendered to RACC last week along with his guide dog companion, Blue Dozer. A picture of the pair went viral on RACC's Facebook page.

Meadows said the blind dog was dropped off around noon Tuesday.

"As the gentleman left I looked the microchip number up and found out who he was registered to," she added.

The microchip was put in place by RACC. Through that chip, Meadows said she was able to contact the woman who adopted him.

"She said 'so and so' was supposed to be watching him," Meadows said. "She went on to say that she didn't want him because he bites."

A volunteer at the animal shelter ended up posting to Facebook trying to get more information about OJ and where he came from. It was the comments that followed which left Meadows shocked.

"It was brought to our attention he was adopted on Sunday as a bonded pair," Meadows said. "I was very upset. I felt like I had been lied to."

Since Tuesday, OJ has stayed in his own crate and hung out in the front office of the animal shelter.

Meadows said she hasn't seen constant biting behavior from the dog.

"He can be a little nippy if you go to pick him up and he doesn't realize you're there," she said. "He seems a little confused like he doesn't know what's going on."

The shelter said the pair were bonded and could only be adopted together. It was only a couple of days after they were turned over to RACC that the dogs were adopted out.

"Usually bond pairs... they're bonded for a reason," Meadows said. "Whether it be for emotional support or they've lived together their whole life."

During NBC12's Facebook Live update from Lyndhurst, dozens of people commented pleading for Dozer and OJ to reunite.

"Since it's a big thing with him having a seeing-eye dog a lot of people are upset about it," Meadows said.

After the dogs were reunited, RACC posted on their Facebook page, saying, "We very much appreciate the outpouring of community support...we do not support any act of violence or threat of violence towards anyone. Ever. The only thing that matters is these sweet dogs get to stay together-and in the end that's what we have."

During her conversations with managers at RACC, Meadows added there were multiple families who were interested in adopting them as a pair and keeping them together.

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