Dog lost for 8 months reunited with Cape Coral family

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

A trip to the groomer turned into an eight-month, all-out search for one woman’s dog.

Carol Hunter’s dog, Bella, was given to the wrong person at the groomer on Nov. 4.

“I get home, I opened the door, and that’s not Bella,” said Hunter.

Bella, the dog that was missing for eight months. CREDIT: WINK News

When Hunter picked up her two dogs from the groomers in November 2022, she carried one of them to her car while the groomer put the other dog in her backseat. When Hunter got home, she realized the groomer made a mistake.

When Hunter called, the groomer explained he must have given Bella to the wrong woman.

After several hours without finding Bella, Hunter called the police and her best friend, Norma Ralston.

“I said, ‘First thing in the morning, we’ll hit the road,’ and that’s exactly what we did,” said Ralston.

The woman who had Bella told police Hunter’s dog had run away, but that didn’t stop Hunter for a second. Hunter and Ralston hit the streets, posting flyers, calling every vet’s office in the area and posting online, non-stop to bring her pooch home.

“And I thought what else can I do? What else have I not tried,” asked Hunter.

Both of Carol Hunter’s dogs. CREDIT: WINK News

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months.

“I had this feeling, you know, but you know, do you trust it? Is it because you wish it in? I just prayed,” said Hunter. “I just want to know if she’s OK. You know, and that’s all I cared about.”

Two-thirds of a year later, Hunter got a text from an animal hospital. The text said they had a dog with a microchip that said Hunter was the owner.

Bella had been found and turned in by a good Samaritan.

The reunion led to gushing emotions.

“Bella looked at me in shock, and then, like she said, when she handed her to me just lick, lick, lick,” said Hunter.

Bella was so happy, she couldn’t help but vigorously wag her tail.

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