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Palm Springs Man’s Reunion Brings Tears of Joy

TUESDAY, OCT. 18, 2016 – A Palm Springs man reunited with his long-lost dog on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 18), more

than a year after his beloved pet went missing.

The man, Michael Greer, cried with tears of joy after seeing his dog, a 6-year-old terrier named Scruffy, for the first time since a friend lost track of the dog.

“When he saw his dog, he wanted to jump into the kennel,” said Marisa Sanabria, a supervising animal care technician. “He couldn’t believe his dog was here.”

The reunion could not have happened if not for animal control officer Paul Villanueva’s actions on the front end. Officer Villanueva scooped up the friendly and easy-to-handle pooch in Indio on Monday afternoon on Patrick Drive (between Avenue 38 and Avenue 39) and transported him to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. Soon thereafter, it was discovered that the dog had a microchip. An employee was then able to contact Mr. Greer.

“He was crying when he found out his dog was with us,” Sanabria said. “He had given up, because he had been to our shelter many times.”

Mr. Greer could not be reached on Tuesday to add his own take on the happy reunion. But Animal Services’ employees are excited to hear more from Mr. Greer, especially in finding out what Scruffy’s first meal was when he arrived back at his rightful home.

Mr. Greer had told employees at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus that he had been keeping a count on a calendar, marking all the days Scruffy had been missing. Back in October 2015, Mr. Greer had to leave town for work and had asked a friend to care for Scruffy. But the dog somehow escaped or disappeared.

Scruffy went missing 371 days ago, somewhere near the Bermuda Dunes Country Club, he said. Mr. Greer checked around that area several times and visited the Coachella Valley Animal Campus so many times that Michelle Bergeron, an Animal Samaritans employee who works inside the shelter, recognized Mr. Greer on Tuesday during the happy reunion.

She and other workers at the shelter were thrilled to share in the moment. “Everyone was so excited,” Sanabria said. 

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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